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>Brian (franczak@ntplx.net) wrote:

>No bird or crocodilian species alive today - the groups that
phylogenetically bracket dinosaurs -- hunts cooperatively. Only mammals
do...... Flocks of birds, while they may feed together, do not hunt and
bring down prey cooperatively in the same manner as do lions and wolves.
Some modern birds -- raptors, psittaciformes -- are
*much* more intelligent than any theropod ever was. Male and female
raptors are known to circle together searching for prey, but even they do
not both attack an animal  simultaneously to kill it and then share the
spoils.  Bay-winged hawks, despite lots of press to the contrary, exhibit
behavior that is really more opportunistic than cooperative; yet, even to
give  them the benefit of the doubt, they are alone in this behavior in
the avian world.<

Someone else answered with the Harris Hawk reference, and I recall
reading another about White Pelicans swimming in a circle to corral fish,
then dipping down for them. 

<It is also debatable whether aerial hunters are good analogues 
for behavior patterns of strictly terrestrial predators.<

Granted.  But, what about ecological convergence?  Just because lions are
mammals, why should they be completely eliminated as a model of theropod
behavior, as long as they are in ecologically similar niches to those of
the theropods?

Judy Molnar
Education Associate
Virginia Living Museum