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Re: Herbivore protection



Bob Simon writes;

>Why would a slow, fully-terrestrial, hornless, etc. herbivore protect
>itself....? It probably would not have had that option. I look at the
>herds of herbivores today and their defense mechanism such as it is and
>it is sheer numbers. They reproduce and populate in such vast numbers
>that the 'weeding' of the herd by the vicious predators does not
>devastate the species. The fossil record gives some credence to this
>thought in the large number of herd-herbivore remains found relative to
>predators.

I disagree with this interpretation.  First of all, the size of the herd is not 
the only means of species survival.  It has been said on several nature shows 
that lions make one kill for every four attempts.  This means that for every 
wildebeast that is brought down, there are three that elude capture (so speed 
helps too).  For a tyrannosaur hunting a hadrosaur, it sounds like there would 
be a practical 100% kill rate (if the animal is as slow and defenseless as has 
been reported).  If this is the way things were, then hadrosaurs would have 
quickly been hunted out.  Since this group was very successful, there had to 
have been some method of eluding predators (one that would fit for the entire 
family).

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

***
The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new 
discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but  "That's funny ..."
       --  Isaac Asimov