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Re: hadrosaur tails, a tail of two defences, or a hadrosaur! Wh



> Date:          Sun, 11 May 1997 08:57:25 -0700
> Reply-to:      sarima@ix.netcom.com

> From:          Stanley Friesen <sarima@ix.netcom.com:
> 
> Even if this might work, prey species generally do not do this sort of
> thing.  Given a choice they *always* run *away*.   I cannot, offhand, think
> of any exceptions to this.


Depends on what you catagorize as "prey species."  If you mean 
herbivores that predators are capable of preying upon, then, of 
course, the water buffalo comes to mind.  They aggressively defend 
themselves.  Lionesses generally avoid preying on them, but if 
hungry enough all of the lionesses in the pride will pile on to a 
water buffalo, and are generally capable of subduing it without 
casualty to the pride. 

If you just mean herbivores *period*, then of course the group 
expands. The Rhinoceros and the elephant are  more than any pride 
could handle without the very real possibility that the feeding 
event will kill a member.

Although this is an intriguing conversation, it also points out 
some of the frustrations of reconstructing the lives of the 
dinosaurs. ( I've learned a lot about the living animals discussed in 
any event!) We can look at remains of cave bears or mammoths and more 
or less analogize them to behavior of closely-related living animals. 
What living animal even *vaguely* resembles the forty-foot, six- 
(four-? eight-?) ton, T-shaped T rex? Is there an extant herbivore 
even remotely similar to Parasaurolophus?  Simple analysis of 
the "physics" of the animal can lead to biased and otherwise 
extremely misleading results, and analogy to modern animals is 
basically comparing apples and ziggurats. 

Unless we can clone them (now there's a novel idea), dinosaurs will 
probably always remain what we want them to be rather than what they 
were. 
Larry

"The little man went up and down
To find an eating place in town
He looked the menu through and through
To see what fifteen cents could do --
One meatball
One meatball
Well, he could afford but one meatball"