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Re: Utility of Scavenger vs. Predator Argument




On Tue, 24 Feb 1998 RedRaptorV@aol.com wrote:

> This may be true, but the large animals are taken down
> by the females of the pride. These females are a well organized unit governed
> by an alpha female. If we are viewing T-Rex as a hunter, and if he/she has to
> take down prey much larger than its'self, say a bull Apatosaur, which I'm sure
> would have defended its'self vicously, then I could see T-Rex as a pack
> hunter..or hunting with a mate.                                   >As for
> scavenger, it is fact that lions will scavenge food from other preditors , for
> example..the hyena, and the hyena will hunt for prey when it cannot scavenge.
> Personally, I see T-Rex as both a hunter AND a scavenger..whether they hunted
> in packs or were solitary is an enigma.          Kay Petersen

You are correct that we are unsure whether _T. rex_ was a pack hunter.
I believe that Currie is either about to or has just recently published
something along the lines that it was possibly a pack hunter.  Whether rex
hunted as efficiently as lionesses is unknown and may always be.  It
should also be noted that lionesses do the majority of the hunting in the
species because the males have biological barriers (i.e. heavy mane) which
degrade their ability to actively hunt somewhat (though solitary males or
brothers do hunt effectively when they are without a pride).  We have no
evidence that male tyrannosaurs had similar hindrances, but there can be
no evidence that they did not either.  This means that the sex of the
rex is irrelevant (unless you are a rex) as far as hunting goes.  I'm not
sure that I was actually referring to rex in that post about lions and
giraffes (I've really forgotten now). There weren't really that many
potential prey animals larger than 5 or 6 tons in LK North America.
Perhaps a titanosaur or two?  Was the original post about allosaurs maybe? 
        To sum up:  I think we have reached virtual unanimity on the list
that rex was probably both hunter and scavenger.  A very useful post sent
by Nicholas (Wren) (thanks Nicholas) suggests that GSPaul's estimation of
a two-ton powerlunch was not impossible for a _T. rex_ (something I had
never bothered to do the math on). Nicholas' analysis of the ability to
drag a four ton ceratopsid was very logical, though I'm not sure that his
conclusion was accurate (but,  what do I know?).  I'm anxious to see that
Currie paper on the possible family group structure of rex.

Jack Conrad