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Re: weights etc of dinosaurs




On Sun, 31 Aug 1997, Bettyc wrote:

> > Most mammalian carnivores today eat quite small prey.  Lions
> > will not take on anything too large unless they are in a pride hunting.
> > For this reason, elephants, unless very sick, juvenile or old, are free
> > from predation.  I guess fully grown sauropods would also have been.  
> > I think a lot of the smaller predatory dinosaurs ate things very
> > much smaller than them - such as our ancestors!
> 
> actually, aren't reptiles one of the few animals that will attempt to
> eat things larger than they should?

Actually, if you look at the raptorial birds of today, many also take
things smaller than themselves as food items.  However, there are
instances (such as the Gyrfalcon and harpy eagle) where they will attack
animals much heavier than themselves.  Perhaps the large predatory
dinosaurs with their extremely large head-to-body ratios could have dones
such.  I'll agree that healthy adult sauropods would have been free from
predation, but if you are looking to mammalian predators for
similarities, be careful.  Most mammalian predators have absurdly small
skulls for their body size when compared to say, tyrannosaurs, or
dromaeosaurids.  Still, things like troodontids and the delicate skulled
coelophysians might be good comparisons with the modern Carnivora.  

Jack