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"Mark A. Metz" <[log in to unmask]>
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SciArt-L Discussion List-for Natural Science Illustration- <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 16 Apr 2004 17:47:18 -0500
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> It's almost like not needing an internal stomach....the poor prey
> predigests outside
> the body, then all the predator need do is swallow. Many insects do this
> too don't they..

Actually, the bacteria aren't doing any digesting.  The bacteria just cause
infection that kills the prey.  The dragon then must tear up and swallow
whole pieces of meat, which is digested internally.  There are many
organisms that predigest tissues externally beforme "consuming" them;
spiders are probably the most notorious.

> not the most efficient system for either side. The dragon must waste a
> lot of energy
> following prey around.

Dragons will capture and kill prey directly if they are able.  It just means
that in terms of efficiency, the dragon still benefits from a bite that
doesn't capture.

> Are they the ones that projectile spit from their eyes?

Sorry, I don't know that one.  The only reptile that I am familiar with that
"shoots" stuff from it's eyes are the horned lizards (some folks call these
horny toads).  At least some of these species will squirt blood from their
eyes as a defense mechanism.  Weird, huh?

Dr. Mark A. Metz
Research Affiliate
Center for Biodiversity
Illinois Natural History Survey
607 East Peabody Drive
Champaign, IL 61820
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