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



At 07:03 PM 4/28/99 -0600, John M. Dollan wrote:
>"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 ...
>family group, but yet be successful for, say, a lion?
>
The issue is more subtle than that.  The larger home range and
intra-specific competition *are* a disadvantage to pack life, even in
lions.  It is just that for lions (and other pack/flock animals) the
various advantages outweigh the disadvantages.  In short, pack life is in
essence a compromise, as are most adaptations.

>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)?

In the case of _Coelophysis_ there is some reason to believe it is the latter.

>> 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?

Partly environment, partly evolutionary heritage.  In the case of lion
versus tiger the difference is mostly environment, as has been mentioned
elsewhere.

--------------
May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com