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Re: pouncing scenario



At 01:20 PM 9/27/96 -0500, James Norton wrote:

>Wayne Bottick's posting questioned what a (still) flightless pouncing
>theropod would do with its prey once it caught it.  My answer would be
>that the creature would do the same thing that strictly cursorial predators
>would do once they captured their prey: 

        See my reply to this.

>much differently.   With respect to carrying the prey away to a spot
>where it could be consumed undisturbed, in my scenario this might
>involve jumping with a small (mouse-size) prey back up into the
>branches.

        I don't think that this is necassary to estalish the possibilty.
Once it was flying to position itself over the prey, that motino could be
exampted for horizontal flight (might explain Ostrom's theories about Archy
not having the muscle for upward flight.
        FRIVOLOUS SPECULATION:  Maybe the fossilized one we've found dived
at prey in the water and found they could not extricate themselves.  Ok,
don't everybody shout me down...

>this means that the mass of the prey would have to be relatively
>small compared to that of the predator,

        Not if the animal is eating quickly, then jumping to safety, rather
than taking the prey into the trees.  Both are possible, but this theory
explains the large raptorial talon (_PDW_ "small prey was caught with the
jaws...").

>and that the extensors of the leg and hip used in leaping would have
>to be quite well developed to gain height before the flight
>apparatus was developed enough to provide vertical lift.

        There doesn't seem to be anything about the dromaeosaur build that
would prevent this.

        Wagner
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