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Re: Comments?



derek@nezsdc.fujitsu.co.nz:
>Male lions are larger than female lions (this is a unique situation 
>among felines) however, when discussing competition between the two 
>species one must remember that it is the _female_ lions who do the 
>actual hunting.

According to the recent Nat'l Geo article "Lions of Night" this
is most definitely not the case.  Males tend to specialize in
larger and more dangerous prey, and do less hunting overall,
but by such a small percentage it is easily overwhelmed by
regional differences in various prides.  This legend arises
from the observed fact that females are more inclined to hunt
during the day.

"Pack hunting" is a very nebulous concept anyway.  Wolves hunt
in packs, as do hyenas, as do lions, and all have very unique
methods.  Lions stalk, wolves are cursorial hunters, the tech-
niques may be pack-based but that are not all that similar.

T-rex is a carnivour with all the non-essentials ripped away,
but we can only guess from the similarity of its killing equip-
ment to modern animals how it hunted.  That is suggestive, but
cannot rule out any other possibility.  It could have hunted
by marking a victim and then just pursuing it, for days, if
need be, at speeds not much higher than a walk - then killed
when the victim, tired or just too used to the presence of
the killer, let it get too close.  That scenario fits what we
know at least as well as Horner's scavenger theory without
requiring an improbable number of fresh corpses be provided
by means unknown.  Most likely, it relied on various combin-
ations of several methods.  Speculation is fine, but lining
up academic reputations on this theory or that when any one
of them could be blown out of the water the next time a bone
washes out of an embankment is rather silly.

regards,
Larry Smith