Posted: Jun 19, 2014 11:14 am
by theropod
Jayjay4547 wrote:
theropod wrote:
Jayjay4547 wrote:

Was there ever any doubt that T. Rex ate meat, even before those bite marks were found? Did palaeontologists stand around scratching their heads? Gosh maybe this was an aquatic reptile. No could it have been a wood borer? Let’s hypothesise that it ate meat, Let’s call that the T.Rex Hunting hypothesis till we get “evidence”.

Um, what? My point is that there is empirical evidence to back up the head scratching by paleontologists. This is missing from your premise. Own it.

Can you offer any evidence that palaeontologists scratched their heads over whether T. rex was a predator before finding their scratch marks on bones? Here is some evidence that, before scratch marks were found, scientists had no problem appreciating that T. rex was a carnivore. It’s from H.G. Wells, Julian Huxley and G.P. Wells 1931 The science of Life 1931 p458

“The carnivorous line became larger and larger to cope with the increasing bulk of its vegetarian relatives and prey, its teeth became more formidable, its fore-arms, at first provided with vicious claws to dig into victim, later degenerating into almost useless vestiges in favour of the huge skull with its ferocious teeth. It culminated in the Tyrannosaurus, whose knee was a tall man’s height above the ground, whose head was twenty feet up in the air- formidable, if ponderous, engines of destruction.”

One could quibble about some things in that passage, but these puvblic-intellectual authors had no trouble figuring that Tyrannoaurus was a carnivore. About the only instance I can think of when scientists have had difficulty in immediately seeing the significant nature of a fossil, has been the australopiths- I mean, seeing that they were adept users of foreign objects in a fighting antipredation strategy.

So I take it you still don't have any empirical evidence to support your position. Didn't think so.

theropod wrote:
Australopiths had teeth that were good for biting dead things. T.Rex’s teeth were good for biting things that it intended would soon be dead.

Says you.

I said that Australopiths were good at biting dead things, on the basis of their lacking fangs, whereby primates generally tear out chunks using their powerful fore-arms and grasping hands. I cited Fitzpatrick’s account of the method used by a dog-killing baboon. And I cited Watts et al on the damage that chimps do to other chimps, often using biting. Here is the link again, see table 2.

Still the evidence you so desperately need to support this assertion is your opinion. Has a human ever bitten another to the point it was homicide?

theropod wrote:
Besides, you still seem to want to make T. rex into a pure predator.

I was saying a very simple thing: that one can immediately see that T. rex was a carnivore. And I was hoping to use that as common ground for the argument that you don’t need to find fossil weapons to see that the australopiths used them defensively. But sure, if you like, the T rex was as pure a predator as one might hope to find. That station in life might well include opportunistic scavenging and cannibalism.

Seriously? Do you even bother to read what you post? Opportunistic scavenging, by definition, removes the "pure" from predator.

Fossil weapons? What do you mean by that?

I'm saying, again, that there is hard evidence that T. rex ate meat, but the same hard evidence, of any sort, is missing from your assertion.

If social structure and numbers were good for avoiding predation then termites would have nothing to worry about. But they have social structure, numbers and soldiers. Put your hand in a termite nest and one of those can give you a bite to remember. So injected poison can be an antipredation method but for an African mammal, if it can’t sprint or climb a tree better than a leopard or hide in obscurity, then it comes down to applying either blunt or sharp trauma to the predator. Not that different from your Nebraska dinosaurs.

My Nebraska dinosaurs? Have you ever actually read a word I've written here? Seriously, have you?

I read your posts with interest and attention. By “Your Nebraska dinosaurs” I was referring to this passage from your post #234:

“Edmontosaurus annectens have been on my mind lately (mainly 'cause this is the time of year to start field ops in the northern plains). I personally know of 4 mass mortality sites where thousands of these duck billed herbivores are entombed, and have worked at two of them. In both cases it appears as if the dinosaurs...”

Great plains not Nebraska? Hokay, Sorry.

I wasn't necessarily referring to this thread. I've made plenty of posts surrounding my professional exploits in SOUTH DAKOTA, and have mentioned in this thread the Hell Creek formation which isn't found in Nebraska.

You are ignoring the possibility that these early hominids used a defensive strategy other than the one you assert.

theropod wrote: I doubt termites have much to worry about. They've been around one hell of a lot longer than humans have, and their defense systems must work or there wouldn't be such things as termites. Thanks for making my point for me.

Termites are predated at least by aardvark,pangolin, ants, I guess spiders, and of course, spectacularly by birds. They are embedded in the African food web, just like the australopiths were. Of course their defence systems work, so must those of the australopiths. I don’t see how I was making your point for you.

If the termite defense system didn't work termites would not be extant. You haven't established that your asserted means of defense in these early hominids is supported with empirical evidence.

theropod wrote: More assertions you can't, or won't, support with anything but more assertion. Are you sure you want to limit these early hominids to a defense with sticks by a select few members of the troop? Have you never considered the possibility that they all stood their ground and may have even acted aggressively in unison when confronted by a leopard? A unified front is a daunting thing.

That’s a good point. In the insect world where I cited termites you could equally cite bees, where the hive majority are all equally equipped. In the primate world, baboons seem to mob leopards as a mass, even in one report by Cheney, including a female with its infant:

But the males are more capable at inflicting harm. Because they are bigger and have bigger canines.

Where social structure and numbers come in is the troop needs to organise so the minimum number of members apply the maximum trauma with minimum effort.

So 4 members of the troop confronting a leopard with sticks is better at inflicting trauma than an entire troop? How does that work?

OK, if the whole troop got involved, the more effective their choice and use of sticks, the more trauma to the predators and the less damage to themselves.

Oh FFS, way to miss the point! You continually make sweeping assertions and because you have no idea what you're talking about so you just repeat the empty assertion?


What the 40-years that the Piltdown forgery went undetected shows is that paleoanthropologists like everyone else, are blinded by what they want to see. And what they want to see is culturally determined. That was well put in a review by Brian Switek of Donna Hart and Robert W Sussman's “Man the Hunted” :

Bullshit revisionism! How many paleontologist actually had a chance to examine the specimen? Were color pictures available on the net so others could compare the tooth to known early hominid teeth? It still wasn't some creotard that figured out it was a hoax. That was a trained professional. Own it.

Bullshit revisionism by who exactly? By this science blogger I quoted? You don’t have every opinion maker in your pocket. At any rate, not safely in your pocket.

It's your silly statement that paleontologists are blinded by what they want to see, and that is culturally determined. That is a slanderous slur which you cannot support with anything other than opinion. The current peer review process limits these sorts of mistakes, and sure as hell isn't a matter of opinion.

If the paleontological community couldn't examine the specimen, as is available today, is there any wonder it took so long for a professional to rebut the claims? So, instead of owning the fact that it wasn't a creotard that uncovered the hoax is a matter of opinion? That's not an opinion. That's what happened.

theropod wrote:

Nope, it's a creationists that has no understanding of the methodology of science making all sorts of empty assertions with not one shred of empirical evidence in support thereof. Even when actual scientists tell you where, and how, you're fucking up you insist you know you're right. When faced with empirical evidence you ignore that too in favor of your made up stories you cannot support with anything but more empty assertions.

Well I do have some understanding of the methodology of science.

Then show it. Gather empirical evidence which supports your assertion. Cite the peer reviewed work of others. Stop linking to worthless fucking blogs.

I’ve been making quite a reasonable argument with some empirical evidence – for example, of the kind of damage other primates are capable of, using their teeth.

That's evidence that those other primates did, and do, use their teeth, not that those early hominids did, or did not, do so. What about this is so hard for you to grasp? It is far from reasonable to expect anyone to accept your position based on no more than your opinion, and face it, that's all you've presented. Ever.

You may be a scientist but you aren’t doing science on this forum, you are just having a discussion same as me.

To a point you are right. I'm not doing science here, but I am pointing out that your opinions, or those of some obscure blogger, are trumped, or supported, by empirical evidence.