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Re: Herbivore protection

> Date:          Tue, 27 May 1997 09:48:18 -0500
> Reply-to:      franczak@ntplx.net
> From:          franczak@ntplx.net (Brian Franczak)
> To:            dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject:       Re: Herbivore protection

> Wayne A. Bottlick wrote:
> > So either we find a new defence for the hadrosaurs...
> A quote from THE HUNTERS (Philip Whitfield, Simon & Schuster 1978):
> "The lion is not a fast runner over long distances -- a fact which makes
> the speed of many of the hoofed animals it kills their most important
> defense."
> Might it not just be possible that quadrupedal hadrosaurs could simply
> outrun bipedal theropods over long distances? Speculating along the lines
> of poison skin or noxious glandular secretions is fruitless, since the
> fossil record cannot supply proof for such ideas.
> Brian Franczak (franczak@ntplx.net)
I agree with you and several others including Dr. Holtz that there 
needs be no special defense mechanisms for herd defense.  I get the 
impression that this is not appreciated as much as it should at 
times.  Herd defense is both active and passive.  It is not just a 
numbers game although this is important.  Large numbers of a large 
prey animal is a deterent to predation, even if by packs.  Granted 
that T rex is larger than say a lion to buffalo, but that does not 
mean 100% kill ratios.  It could have been less than lions and still 
been efficient enough.  Especially considering the size of the prey.  
Plus, it is very likely that the speed difference between T rex and 
its prey was not significant enough to produce cheetah kill ratios( 
or wild dog either both about 70%).  

IMHO that rex was opportunistic and killed the weak and sick, slow 
and young, inexperienced and unwary more often than healthy animals 
in large herds.  It's also hard to imagine that T rex had the 
cooperate hunting techniques of lions, hyenas, dogs, or wolves.  It's 
possible but unlikely in my opinion.  It's very likely rex scavenged 
when it was safe and easy just as other predators do.

I would think that hadrosaurs ran faster in bipedal mode but they 
could have galloped I guess.

As always, this is only an opinion, subject to
retraction and recall without notice, and with 
due respect to others opinions.


Michael Teuton MD