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Re: Food for second thoughts?

Matt Stephen Staples wrote:

> OK, so I made a mistake. The point you missed was not that failed
> attacks are common, but that a predator may catch it's prey but
> willingly let it go because it really wasn't in the mood in the first
> place. It certainly occures in some modern day examples. 

Mood is a real toughie for scientists to deal with in a rational manner.
If you can provide physical eidence that the croc in question was merely
being 'moody', without any physical stimulus, then all power to you.

> Also, what
> about a dinosaur playing with it's victim?? Like the way some whales
> (I can't remember which one) toss seals about in the air like balls??

Mammals play with their food.  They seem to enjoy the stimulus of the
hunt and will repeat it even after the prey animal is dead.
Birds will repeat displays and more rarely threats over and over
(budgies threatening mirrors) but rarely in the case of hunting birds do
you see this with live prey animals-it's dangerous to the bird.   And
these displays tend to be social in nature, not so much a threat or
display to intimidate prey, but to impress babes or chase away
It's hard to say about dinosaurs.  Maybe they did and maybe they didn't.

-Betty Cunningham