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Re: T. REX THE HUNTER



Alaric Shapli wrote:

<snip>

> Just thought I'd point out that male lions are primaraly scavengers (though
> not exclusively).  Male lions are incompetant hunters, as a rule; it's the
> females who usualy make the kills.  Male lions are, however, the largest
> carnivores in the areas where they live, and are quite capable of chasing
> other animals away from their kills.  Of course, the unusual (for felines)
> degree of sexual dimorphism among lions makes them something of a special
> case, but I just thought I'd point that out (and, as far as I know, all
> other felines live primarily by hunting, only scavenging occasionaly,
> including the biggest, the Siberian tiger).

Male lions rarely join in _stalking_ hunts, manely for obvious reasons, but
they are very effective at taking incidental prey -- that is, prey encountered
by chance.  Keep in mind that males _have_ to be good hunters during at least
one stage in their lives: the period after they're driven from their mother's
pride and before they find one of their own.  If they find one of their own.
Males that don't find a pride stay on their own all their lives.

Anyway, I wouldn't call it "scavenging" when an individual animal horns in on a
kill made by a packmate.  The kill of the pack is the property of the pack.
Might seem a bit immoral to us human-types, but that's the way it works.
Everyone contributes and everyone benefits.  Hyenas will swarm a lion kill when
only lionesses are present, but very few hyenas will approach a kill guarded by
a male lion.

What all this has to do with T. rex's hunting habits I'm not sure, and I
apologize if anyone is offended by the thread drift.  Still, it does eventually
wander circuitously back to the point that there is no modern example of a
large land meat-eater that lives exclusively on carrion.  Few meat-eaters will
pass up a free meal, but they're all effective enough hunters to get by on what
they kill themselves.

-- Jon W.