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Re: dein. claws, etc.

The ZooLady writes: "Just a reminder.. almost all fights between males,
dominant/subordinates, and the like, are *NOT* to the death. Claws and
things are used for hunting, defense from predators, or just bluffing. This
could be an advanced evolutionary behavior.. maybe the dinosaurs didn't
learn soon enough? :)."  

This is quite true, but as an antidote to this line of thought consider the fact
that despite the small number of Tyrannosaur fossils so far collected, a rather 
large number of them show bite marks by other Tyrannosaurs.  One would normally 
think that really dangerous animals would, like the leopard, practice mutual 
avoidance; or like many primates, engage in elaborate appeasement rituals to 
avoid the steep casualty rate that would otherwise seem to follow.  On the other
hand, male lions offer an exception and might even be considered as a potential 
(but only partial) model for what could be going on among Tyrannosaurs. (The 
drawback to the lion model is that it is sex-specific.)  Given this state of 
affairs, we cannot be too very certain that the general rule applies in the case
of Deinonychus.  

Richard Dieterle

"stupid, clumsy and insensitive"