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Re: Dromeosaurid behavior........Pack hunting! (long)

Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 4/28/99 6:54:20 PM EST, gderkits@lucent.com writes:
> << Presumably the Deinonychus were
>  killed by the Tenontosaurus during their attack on it. >>
> Why couldn't they have been killed fighting over the carcass? Just curious...

I actually considered this.  But to me, admittedly an amateur, it does not seem
very profitable to risk a debilitating injury, or even death, to fight over
someone else's kill.  I doubt that one Deinonychus could eat an entire
Tenontosaur, so why not wait until it has finished and left before trying to get
a bite in (presuming that, full and sluggish, it would not hang around to 
the remains).

On the flip side, I can't understand why, if the Deinonychus' WERE killed during
a joint attack, they would have even attempted such a hunt if it were to be so
obviously dangerous.  Are we perhaps seeing evidence of desperation due to a
famine, or inexperience?  Are there signs on the Tenontosaur's bones that the
animals HAD been feeding (I have no idea), or is this a chance grouping of
corpses brought together by, say, a flood?  Heck, for that matter, could these
have been scavengers of a dead corpse (perhaps killed by a larger predator) that
were caught in a flash flood?  I suppose that the possibilities are endless.

Anyway, regardless of how these animals came to rest together, I do see this as 
remarkably fascinating find that opens a window, however currently unclear, on
life at this particular time.

Have a great week!

John M. Dollan
Graduate Assistant-Residence Life
Montana State University-Northern
ICQ 308260
Visit Explorations at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Academy/1861

"Exploration is an obsession.  The more I discover, the more I want to know.
Unfortunately I will not be able to discover everything I want."
 --Meave Leakey

"Never be afraid to try something new.  Remember, amateurs built the Ark.
Professionals built the Titanic."