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Re: DINOSAUR digest 343
> As for a model of maternal upbringing there are plenty of different
> mammalian strategies around, I suspect that T. rex might have used a more
> "lizard-like" strategy, for example how alligators "raise" their young. They
> incubate the eggs, guard the nest and assist the young into the water and
> may even hang around where the young are for some time protecting them from
> some obvious predators, including male alligators.
this would also seem to fit evidence from Maiasaura nest sites
Then they are on their own, predating small animals like tadpoles, insects,
etc. Gradually their
> prey items get larger as they do and they either co-exist with others in the
> bayou, get eaten or move out. A considerable number of young alligators get
> eaten by all sorts of predators, so the population is controlled through
> high infant mortality, emmigration and starvation. This sounds to me like a
> more workable hypothesis for T. rex maternal behaviour than one based on
> mammals (who are smarter than your average lizard).
wasn't Sue found with two adult/sub-adult T.rexes, (one thought to be
a male, boyfriend ? ;-)
Young and adult alligators do not cooperate in hunting as a rule, but they are
likely to try
> for the same prey item. Young T. rex's would simply hunt smaller animals
> like mammals, young of other species, eggs, insects?, whatever was in their
> size range to subdue. Or, perhaps they followed ma around with her
> sufferance and snarfed scraps from her kills, or perhaps she fed them for a
> while and scared off hungry males.
I seem to remember that in Psihoyos' book they mentioned that Sue and
family may have been killed in teritorial dispute. Perhaps T.rexes
lived like bears, the males and females only coming together to mate,
but otherwise staying apart - probably because of the ecologic
pressure of large carnivores in one area. Mum brings up the
kids in a familly pack defending them until they are old enough to fend for
themselves, whence they leave to find their own teritory. Someone was
supporting Sue at the point her leeg fracture was healing, perhaps the kids
were helping out.
> As an aside, I suspect we would call a group of young T. rex's a "murder".
> As in "a murder of crows", but for a much better reason.
very good, this would be better than plain old packs :-)
GABHAN PETTIGREW If you can't fool all of the people
Sgl3GP@Cardiff.ac.UK all of the time, then we should be
Cardiff University breeding them for stupidity (Cerebus)