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Re: Velociraptor

Michael wrote:
> > From: Chris Campbell <sankarah@ou.edu>
> > Mech's figures put the average lengths at 5.0-6.5 feet for males and
> > 4.5-6.0 feet for females.  That's 152-198 cm for males and 137-183 cm
> > for females.  I've never heard of a wolf reaching 8 feet in length (240
> > cm)
> I'm assuming there's a lot of tail in that upper number, too.

Mech's figures include 13-20 inches for tale, so you're talking about a
huge wolf or a really, really long tail.  :)

> > > A small female wolf weighs about 40lbs and small male wolf  55lbs with
> > > a large male weighing 175lbs.  However 80-125lbs for both males and
> > > females is average so 50kg is right on average.
> >
> > Average?  You're kidding, right?  There are three places in all the
> > world which have wolves breaking 120 lbs, and those are the Northwest
> > Territories, Finland, and Yugoslavia.  These are true monsters; most
> > populations have maximums on weight well below 115 lbs.  Based on Mech's
> > figures (in _The Wolf_) the average globally is about 50-70 lbs, or
> > around 25-30 kilos.
> My figures were from the following:
> Peterson, Rolf "Gray Wolf" Audubon Wildlife Report, 1986. Wallach & Boever:
> Disease of Exotic Animals. WWF Guide to Endangered Species, 1990.

I'd suggest crosschecking those with other sources.  Mech's word is law
when it comes to wolves as far as I'm concerned, both because of his
experience and because he uses data from wolves around the world.  I'd
like an updated version of his book, though . . .
> I was thinking of the NW gray primarily since I've been talking on another
> list about same.

Your figures make more sense there; depending on whose studies you go
with, the averages amount to either 83-5 or 97-8 lbs, or 38 kg or 44
> > Their main claim to fame is their incredible endurance (300 miles on
> > foot in the span of a weekend; that's insane)
> 30-60mile/day is a lot for a wolf.  Too much energy expended although I
> guess they can do what they want.  Avg speed is 5-6 mph although they can
> go much faster

Yup.  That 300 miles in a weekend was truly extraordinary; I didn't mean
to imply it was a common thing!
> > Those jaws can shatter bone, and that lets them do whatever they darn
> > well want with their prey (well . . .).  This is why I think a good
> > analysis of dromie jaw structure is essential before we can make *any*
> > speculation about how they hunt.  If anyone knows of such a cite, please
> > send it my way.
> Well, I didn't mean to compare them too closely since they are much more
> different from Velociraptor than same, but I had never really thought of
> them even being close in size.  As for jaw structure, you'd have to address
> that with the experts.  I do know that a wolf jaw, bite and teeth are much
> different and Velociraptor would have had to bite/injure/kill with a
> different mechanism.

I agree.  However, if they have well-developed jaw muscles they might do
a grab and bite routine, whereas if they had weaker muscles they might
have just kicked their prey to death.  Can't really speculate till we
know, and we all know how we love to speculate!  :)