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Re: Predator relationships

> From:          Chris Campbell <sankarah@ou.edu>

 Both hyenas and lions get away with stealing food from
> cheetahs not because the cheetahs are too small to fight back but rather
> because they have a pathological fear of fighting.  They won't do it,
> even if they have a good chance of winning. 

Cheetahs will fight back if they think they can.  They run 
jackals and vultures off routinely(if the latter don't overwhelm 
them).  They are just nervous high strung animals built for speed.  
They are no match for lion, hyena or leopard as you pointed out. 

>Hyenas and lions face off  not because they're matched in size and 
>strength but rather because the hyaenas run in larger packs and are 
>extremely aggressive (spotted  hyenas, mind you; totally different 
>story with the smaller striped and  brown hyenas).

I would look at that relationship more in terms of competition 
rather than hyenas being that aggressive.  If hyenas think they have 
the upper hand they will press lions who may or may not assert 
themselves, depending on what they are defending and numbers/support. 
Hyena are more persistent in my eyes than aggressive, although I 
wouldn't tell that to one face to face without a stick or something.

I suspect predator relationships were just as dynamic and complex in 
the Cretaceous.  I'm not sure what could chase off a Tyrannosaur, but 
who knows.  I'd love to be able to go back and observe, but not 
ground based.:))

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


Michael Teuton MD