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Re: The flaws of "small game hunting raptors"
Noel Hill wrote:
> Point#2 When you see small game-hunting dinos, you usually associate them
>with > a long neck and a snout kink with semi forward pointing teeth. The
>teeth in > front of the snout-kink would have proven very useful for
>catching small prey. > The teeth combined with the long powerful neck
>would have been a very > efficient weapon for a hungry predator.
>Deinonychus had a relatively short > neck and teeth that were all
>backward pointing, they were clearly ment for > holding and not for
This analysis is completely in error. Three compsognathids (one specimen of
_Compsognathus_ and two of _Sinosauropteryx_) are known to have their last
meals preserved along with their fossilized remains. Two of these animals
had eaten lizards just prior to death, the third a small mammal.
Compsognathids do not resemble coelophysids in having exceptionally long
necks (they are no longer, proportionally, than the neck of _Deinonychus_)
and do not possess "a snout kink with semi forward pointing teeth".Yet they
were obviously "small game" hunters.
> Point#3 Coelophysis was a very flexible hunter. It was adapted for making
>> those quick pivots and U-turns.
This statement is nothing more than speculation with no basis in fact. How
was _Coelophysis_ "adapted" for this type of behavior more than any other
theropod? It could just as easily be argued that its short legs (relative
to body size) made it a poor runner.
> Deinonychus would have had a hard time making those quick turns at such a
> speed, and it's stiff tail would have made it even harder to turn in a
> dense forest where a mammal would've sought refuge. Deinonychus was
> superbly equipped for running in those wide-open areas and due to it's
> tail, it would have had trouble weaving through the trees.
It's long been posited that the stiff tail of _Deinonychus_ was an *aid* to
quick turns. And there is no way to know whether _Deinonychus_ hunted in
"dense forest" or "wide-open areas".
> Coelophysis is a model small-game hunter, with it's agility combined with it's
> long-distance propelling neck and it's forward striking teeth, ceolophysis
> was the mammal killer. Deinonychus was mainly adapted for killing prey
> that was larger 130lbs.
Again, is there evidence to support these statements? Is there an actual
scientific method for determining these things? If so, please state it,
since the mere statement of a conclusion is not "proof" of that conclusion.
> It's evident that raptors had some sort of social structure, so the
>effort > would have proven more useful if the prey was swarmed. The
>deinonychus would > have kept attacking in till the tenonto was to week
>to defend itself or to > tired to thrash.
How is it "evident" that dromaeosaurs "had some sort of social structure"?
Again, on what evidence are you basing this conclusion? The fossil evidence
is *not* conclusive that the _Deinonychus_ were acting in concert to attack
tenontosaurs. And while the *likelihood* that dromaeosaurs (and theropods
in general) were possessed of some sort of "social structure" is good, it
is not a foregone conclusion and shouldn't be addressed as such.
Can we let this thread die now? This discussion has degenerated into a
"_Deinonychus_ was *too* a pack hunter"... "Was not"... "Was too"... kind
of argument, littered with a parade of outrageous assumptions baldly stated
as facts. It is ALL speculation, and no consensus is going to be reached. I
strongly advise all the "pack hunting" adherents to simply just let it go,
since they've proven their point as well as they're ever going to.
(Unfortunately, the impulse to respond to posts such as this is just too
strong to resist, but frankly, this is starting to bore even me...)