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Re: Cursorial adaptations (was T.rex and elephants)



Christopher Straughn wrote:
> 
> >      Exactly.  T.rex probably didn't HAVE to run terribly fast to catch
> > decent sized prey.
> 
> I've noticed that when predators run fast to get their prey, they
> usually tackle it, not just run up to it and bite it's neck.  I think
> that it's highly likely that a T. rex would fall if it ran quickly up
> to it's prey and lunged at its neck (or wherever) and that's just the
> sort of thing it wouldn't want to do.  So, even if it did run, how
> did it kill its prey?

If it were me (and it's not, which is probably a good thing for all
concerned), I wouldn't do any chasing of any sort; I'd just sort of
lumber along until I came to a good spot for ambushing, wait for the
opportune moment, and then use superior mobility to both separate an
individual from the herd and get into a good position to administer the
killing blow.  We have to remember that _T. rex_ didn't have to catch
its prey; they're slow enough that closing the distance isn't the
problem.  Being able to get around things like pokey horns would be a
good thing, however, and high mobility would help that.  Being able to
get at the prey before help arrives (you know those big, lumbering tanks
of herbivores won't be turning about very quickly) would also be a very
good thing.  

This fits in very well with the ambush strategy; lunge in, chomp the
slow moving prey with one good bite, and do it before the slow moving
herbivores )who probably don't even have the brainpower to mourn the
passing of one of their own) can respond.

On a related note, it strikes me as odd that dromies are often thought
of as ambushers themselves; given their agility and probable speed, I'd
think their hunting technique would be centered on a running approach
toward prey (keeping in mind that the prey in question is slower than
stock still).  It's not like lack of surprise would afford the prey
animal any special advantage, after all; sort of like cheetahs and
Tommies.

Chris