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4.4.03

Dean over at Dean's World posts that the newly discovered cannibal dinosaur isn't really all that unexpected a thing, since lots of creatures eat their own, but it does make it easy for the media to write sensational "Cannibal Dinosaurs!" headlines. The headline for the story in the Sydney Morning Herald -- In twilight of dinosaurs, some turned their jaws on own kind -- goes even further, implying that dinosaur cannibalism was some sort of desperate or degenerate act carried out as world dominance slipped from dinosaurs' grasp. The SMH article does, however, go on to talk about cannibalism in other animals and how dinosaurs compare on that front.

On a related note, if the asteroid impact theory is correct (I can't say for certain, as I gather there has been a lot of research done on the issue in the years since I was obsessed with dinosaurs), there was no "twilight of the dinosaurs." "Twilight" implies a waning, a preparation for the end. But being killed off by a rock from outer space gives no twilight. The end of the dinosaurs is not the extension of their developmental trajectory, but an exogenous disturbance.

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