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Re: The absurdity, the absurdity (was: Cooperating theropods?)
Larry Dunn wrote:
> Jack <firstname.lastname@example.org> also wrote:
> >Also, I know that there is a pride of lions in central or northern
> >Africa which specializes in taking down elephants and have even taken
> >adults which weigh up to 20 times as much as the average pride member
> >(there's a great new pictoral out, I could probably get the ref.).
> Stretches the imagination doesn't it? Must take a lot of lions piling
> on to achieve that. (And, ahem, a lot of cooperation which requires a
> lot of intelligence.)
Very true, although in at least one case a lioness took on a water
buffalo on her own and did fairly well. She bugged it for awhile until
more lionesses showed up, but not getting killed was in itself a fairly
> So lions are getting desperate. Probably brought on by depletion of
> saner prey choices. Wonder what (or who!) caused such an extreme change
> in prey selection? Do you think that elephants are the preferred prey
> species of lions?
Only in this one region of Botswana. Lions there eat water buffalo and
elephant on a regular basis, and make a habit out of hunting down and
murdering (yes, murdering) hyenas. It's only a couple of prides, but
they're absolutely insane by any measure.
> >Bobcats are specialized small game hunters
> >which usually hunt alone aren't they?
> Exactly. Amazingly, most carnivorous vertebrates operate alone and eat
> things smaller than they are. There's nothing "specialized" about that.
> Why assume dromaeosaurs were any different?
Mainly because of dogs and lions, not to mention the occasional
coalition of cheetahs. With dromies, given their necessarily different
hunting methods, I think assuming anything is assuming too much.
> >Some bacteria kill and eat humans.
> The pack-microbes are at it again! First ants, now microbes. The
> giant-slayer dromaeosaur enthusiasts will soon be turning to sub-atomic
> particles to prove their point.
I've still got this delightful image of intrepid beetles attempting to
take down an elephant; that was the best laugh I've had in weeks. :)