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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
>mine start such a thing when it was not my intent, so please excuse my
>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,
>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
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