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Re: Comments on (dare we say it) Pack hunting assertion?



All:

    First:  I personally believe that the available evidence indicates the
greater likelihood of pack hunting by _Deinonychus_ (of _Tenontosaurus_) -
although I do see the possibility that I may be wrong and that the evidence
is not strong enough.

    However, the "NEW" evidence here is merely exaggeration for television
(I have not seen the program myself).

    Looking at the last item mentioned - where _D._ skeletons were found
with a _T._ skeleton - I've spoken to John Ostrom about this site (at Dino
Fest last year).  He said that they did indeed find the partial skeletons of
4-5 individual _D._, and one medium sized (i.e. sub-adult) _T._ at that
location.  He felt that the number of shed _D._  teeth indicated even more
individuals, and to him, that the _T._ was attacked by a pack or _D._'s, and
managed to kill several of its attackers before succumbing.   He also noted
that many places where we find _D._ teeth, we tend to find _T._ skeleton
parts (at least).  Almost as if _D._ teeth were an indicator fossil for _T._
skeletons.    :-)

    As to the school bus sized _T._ - yes they did grow to that size, yet
the majority of _T._ skeletons that are found in conjunction with _D._ teeth
are of juveniles or sub-adults ( ~ 15 feet long, only about 4.5 feet at the
shoulder).  I do NOT know of any large _T._ skeletons that are associated
with _D._ teeth.

    The description:

">> ... One of the first clues was the amount of damage, so many huge slash
wounds
>> on every single part of its body there was no way it could have been
brought
>> down by a single predator. This was also the clue which shows that the
>> carnivores were definitely NOT scavenging.  ..."

            is not accurate, as far as I know.  While _T._'s have been found
with teeth imbedded, and with many broken bones that certain would fit the
hypothesis that _D._'s attacked and killed the _T._'s, evidence of "huge
slash wounds on every single part of its body"" seems to me to be
non-existent.  Such wounds may be very evident in the carcass of a recently
killed animal, but are not generally seen in an 80 mya fossil.  (Since most
of the wounds would need to be seen in the skin and muscle - which are not
preserved).  In addition, the damage done to the bones that may indicate
that they were broken during a predatory attack, just as easily may indicate
that the bones were trampled on - possibly by other _T._ (similar to a
elephant practice).

    This quote:

>> ...A third clue, one which I find highly interesting, also gives us a
>> look at raptor parenting skills. Many adult teeth were found, along with
>> their marks on the skeleton, but right along side were teeth of babies
and
>> on the skeleton, the groves the teeth would have made as a baby fed. ...

        reminds me of Bob Bakker's talk about an _Allosaurus_ bone bed he
has worked, where parts of prey animals (_Stegosaurus_, etc.) appear to have
been brought back to a nest for its young.  These bones do show evidence of
adults and young chewing on the bones.  (It may be that the television
program combined Bob's talk [about "Wyoming Raptor"  - aka an Allosaur],
with exaggeration of the other reports in order to create their show).

    Overall:  While I believe that _D._ most likely preyed upon _T._ and
others, and mostly likely hunted in some sort of cooperative packs - that is
my BELIEF - there is not enough evidence to prove it.   What we do know is
that _D._ apparently LIKED to eat _T._, whether it hunted it or just found a
dead carcass.  And Bakker's finds show that Allosaurs apparently brought
pieces of its prey (or whatever it scavenged) to feed its young.

    (Aside to Archosaur J - We also had a long version of the thread in the
middle of 1997).

        Allan Edels