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

"Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." wrote:

> How about:
> 1. Competition with your siblings for food resources and mates.
> 2. Large necessary "home range" than an individual.

again, I'm not trying to start an argument (I've seen more than one question of
mine start such a thing when it was not my intent, so please excuse my constant
disclaimers), but from a purely curious point of view, why would these two
points be disadvantages for, say, a Deinonychus (I'm kind of bored with the
constant use of Velociraptor as an example...thank you very much Jurassic Park!)
family group, but yet be successful for, say, a lion?

Also, again from the point of view of simple curiosity, is not the mass
fossilization of Coelophysis groups proof of their living in large groups?  Or
was this simply a result of the animal being very numerous and its remains
coming to rest in a chance communal grave over a long period of time (my, wasn't
that a long and bogged down sentence)?

> Yes, there are advantages to pack hunting.  However, there are advantages to
> being a solitary hunter, too.  Or an "opportunistic gang hunter" (not an
> organized pack of close kin, but random members of a population who converge
> on a kill site: sharks, for instance).

Is there also not a southwestern bird of prey that hunts like this?  Two or
three solitary birds that will cooperatively hunt together in order to get a
rabbit?  I'm not certain how well they cooperate once the animal is captured,

> In Nature it is very rare for a single strategy to be "The Best".  That is
> one of the reasons for the vast diversity of life now and in the past.

To take the devil's advocate role (from my beliefs, anyway), if Dinosaurs
evolved as individualistic hunters, might that theme stay consistent on down the
line of their further evolution, with perhaps a few exceptions?  Or is that too
organized a thought to apply to evolution?

> However, demonstration of pack hunting in one species of dromaeosaur by no
> means shows that *all* dromaeosaurids were pack hunters: after all,
> _Panthera leo_ is a pack hunter par excellence, but its very close relative
> _Panthera tigris_ is a solitary or pair hunter for the most part.

Again, out of curiosity, why is this?  Simple random evolutionary chance, or
perhaps some limiting factor in the animals' native environment?

> Hope this helps.

Actually, it does immensely (despite the impression of my constant question
asking might give).  Thanks!

John M. Dollan
Graduate Assistant-Residence Life
Montana State University-Northern
ICQ 308260
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