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Re: The uses of sickle claws

> From:          Jonathon Woolf <jwoolf@erinet.com>

> > Michael wrote:
> > 
> > > Did dromeosaurs weigh anything like Smilodon fatalis?
> > 
> > Depends on the species; _S. populator_ seems to have gotten quite a bit
> > bigger than _S. fatalis_, and _S fatalis_ was already pretty big.  I
> > imagine the weight ranges of dromies and _Smilodon_ would overlap to a
> > fair extent.
> > 
> _S. fatalis_ seems to have been the size of a modern lioness, but more
> heavily built with unusually thick bones, putting its mass in the
> 150-200kg range.  _S. populator_ was a third again the size of
> _fatalis_, meaning it could go as high as 250kg.  
> I saw some of Dinamation's life-size models of _Velociraptor_ once, and
> can't see how they could mass any more than a large wolf -- say,
> 40-50kg.  If anything, I favor the smaller end of that range,
> considering the slender build and long tail.  _Deinonychus was larger, I
> know, but not _that_ much larger, so I reckon it probably massed around
> 80kg or so.  _Utahraptor_ I don't know about; I'm not clear on how large
> it was.  My guess is that the known species of dromaeosaur neatly
> bracketed _Smilodon's_ size range, _Deinonychus_ smaller and
> _Utahraptor_ larger.  
So what's the niche of those predators surrounding T rex?  Were they 
the hyena of their day?  Did T rex serve as the lion of the day?