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Re: Food for second thoughts?

Matt Stephen Staples wrote:
> > >Ever thought maybe other, ancient predators did similar things? Bite
> > >in, do some injury, but it's then too full or not in the mood and
> > >lets the thing it has sunk it's teeth into go??
> >
> > A failed attack is quite common with predators... more common than
> > successful attacks, really.
> 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. 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??
> ----------------------
> Matt Stephen Staples
> mss196@soton.ac.uk

Cats are also known to make "thrill kills" after they have successfully
hunted and are no longer hungry. Many predators seem to develop
a liking for killing, which makes good biological sense - it makes
them more efficient hunters (hey, who wouldn't like to do what they
enjoy for a living!) - however if the predator is too efficient it
may occasionally need to get rid of pent up agression. Domestic cats
will still kill mice or birds even though they are well fed. This is why
some animals will play dead when harassed. If a creature is hungry
playing dead wont really help, you'll get eaten anyway. However if
the predator is out for a thrill kill playing dead may be enough of
an incentive for it to give up and look elsewhere - its just not
fun. If dinos had reasonable brain sizes and were capable of becoming
bored then perhaps some theropods also killed for sport.
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        Australian Dinosaurs: