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The absurdity, the absurdity (was: Cooperating theropods?)
From: "Allan Edels" <email@example.com>
> Concerning the comments about the 3 or 4 _Deinonychus_ found with a
>_Tenontosaurus_: It is not impossible that the _Tenontosaurus_ was
>enough to stumble onto a large pack of _Deinonychus_ - possibly 2 or
>competing packs - then it was brought down by all the packs - who then
>fought over the possession of the carcass - This would be when the
This is too elaborate a construction for my taste.
Subsititute modern animals for these and see how you feel about the
scenario; let's use a moose for the tenontosaur and bobcats for the
Try to imagine it. Dozens of frenzied bobcats hurling themselves at
the beseiged moose . . . only to turn on each other once they've
brought the moose down. I just can't see it.
> The fact is - _Tenontosaurus_ meat seems to have been
>a real favorite of _Deinonychus_ - and a few other Dromeosaurs. (based
>teeth found associated with _Tenontosaurus_).
But that doesn't prove anything about predation. I'm sure there are
species of carrion beetle that just love elephant flesh. But, to the
of my knowledge, no aggregation of intrepid beetles can bring
down an elephant.
> The truth is that pack hunting animals often lose members of the
>while hunting especially the young ones, just learning to hunt and
Why, I'd have to disagree.
Pack hunting animals rarely lose a pack member because they are
not suicidal. There's plenty of flesh to sustain the pack or it
inhabit the econiche in the first place. Plenty of small, manageable
herbs. Plenty of young of the bigger herbs. Plenty of sick herbs. The
occasional herb keels over -- free lunch. If those copious supplies
run low, then they may take a crack at a larger healthy animal, but
with great caution even when in extremis. And "larger" still has a
ceiling, even in those extreme cases. Meercats (cooperative
hunters) will not attack a gazelle no matter how hungry
they are. Why? Because they're not frigging nuts.
Sometimes pack animals get killed trying to take down a prey
animal. But three? No way. Usually it's more a matter of one
animal getting injured and dying later. And, incidentally, young
animals very rarely die in pack feeding events. They work
their way into an active slot *very* gradually, another example
of the pack's playing very cautiously with its own numbers.
>And - we certainly will never know if other _Tenontosaurus_'s were
>without lots of footprints from the same site (which I assume were not
I don't understand the point.
> The absurdity would be to assume that this was a typical kill site,
>and not some extraordinary occurance.
The absurdity is to assume that this is a kill site at all.
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