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Re: Dromeosaurid behavior........Pack hunting!

John M. Dollan wrote:

> ...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...
> 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?

I find it hard to imagine the entire pack was inexperienced.

Neither scenario sounds plausible to me - apart from social insects
and humans, animals do not throw their lives away attacking each
other.  In either case, I can imagine one unlucky Deinonychus getting
killed, but any more would be astonishing.

Animals generally only fight to the death when trapped, or sometimes
when defending their young.  You could have the various dinosaurs
falling into a sinkhole or something (and being forced to fight), but
I don't think there's any evidence of that at the site.

Another more prosaic explanation to add to the list is that the
Tenontosaurus carcass had gone bad, and the Deinonychus died of food
poisoning.  Call me unromantic if you like.

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