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Re: An odd idea



>
>  Y'know.... I once heard it theorized that T. rex preyed 
>upon hadrosaurs more often than on ceratopians, due to the 
>fact that hadrosaurs weren't as well-equipped for defense. 
>(This is, of course, assuming T. rex was predator, not 
>scavenger. FWIW, I do think it was a predator.)
>
>  This would lead to the next question: WHAT,then,preyed 
>upon Triceratops & its kin? Something had to, unless their 
>populations were controlled by the process of them eating 
>everything in sight, then starving.
>
> Something then occurred to me... perhaps dromaeosaurs were 
>the primary predators that targeted ceratopians? After all, 
>they were small enough & quick enough to get inside the 
>animal's defenses in a way that something more massive 
>couldn't hope to.
>
> This idea of mine is probably quite full of it.... but I 
>just thought I'd toss it out for argument's sake.
>
> Feel free to savage it. :)

Prepared to be savaged... :-)

Although some tyrannosaurids may have prefered hadrosaurs to ceratopsians,
T. rex could not have been so picky.  Triceratops is by far the most common
large dinosaur in the Lancian deposits (in which T. rex lived), about 8 to
10 times more common than hadrosaurs.  Dromaeosaurids are very rare in the
Lancian, while T. rex is the most common theropod in the same time and place.

So, T. rex would have had to have preyed on Triceratops, or risk starvation.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084