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Re: Tyrannosaurus rex and its youngsters
We don't know how may adult T rex would live in a given area. Sue
and her 2 fellows may be on the same horizon, and Sue may have all
those T rex bite marks, BUT that doesn't tell us the population
density of a predator that was dang big and hard to keep fed,
endothermic or not.
If a given area had to support a large, breeding competitive
population (males fighting other males to breed with one or more
females) the many T rex and their progeny in that area would then eat
a lot more of whatever in that area.
If the breeding population were mated pairs in a claimed territory,
that would bring the numbers of T rex an area had to support down to 2
If the female only claimed territory, bred with a roving male, and
then chased him off, it would bring the numbers of T rex an area had
to provide for down to 1 plus progeny.
If the male and female were solitary, and only hung around each
other to breed, and then BOTH moved on, that would only leave the area
having to support T rex progeny, at least until they got big enough to
wander off on like their parents.
What happens when the progeny survives long enough to compete with
the adult(s) in a given area?
If T rex fed off of hadrosaurs exclusively, they would hang out
where hadrosaurs hung out (especially juvenile and teen T rex hanging
out near breeding grounds)
If T rex fed on ceratopsians exclusively, they would hang out near
where ceratopsians herded.
So what do we have? We don't have enough info.
A Tyrannosaurus wouldn't be cannibalistic towards its OWN young. But a male
that wasn't the father had damn good reasons to kill the youngsters -- he must
spread his genes, and killing the other male's youngsters eliminates another
generation of his genes passing down. Cannibalism can make perfect
evolutionary sense to some carnivores.