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RE: Follow-up on Lions of Savuti
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Larry Dunn [SMTP:email@example.com]
> Sent: Monday, February 08, 1999 12:03 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Follow-up on Lions of Savuti
> I now have a copy of HUNTING WITH THE MOON: THE LIONS OF SAVUTI, a
> beautifully designed book with stunning photography and, rather oddly,
> an inspirational quote from Camille Paglia (of all people).
> Well, for the record, I read the chapter relating to this kind of
> hunting, "Against the Odds," and, as related there, the lions in
> Savuti prey on very young elephant calves, not on adult elephants as
> has been described. One male lion is described as *tackling and
> knocking over* such a calf.
> Still pretty audacious, but, well ....
> Oh -- they usually get the carcasses of adult elephants dying by other
> One assumes that, if these lions had been observed killing a five ton
> elephant, it would be in the book. I have not yet read the entire
> book, but will update in the unlikely event that there's a reference
> to predation upon adult elephants somewhere else in there.
> (By the way, it's kind of a fancy coffeetable book.)
Hmmm... Well so much for using that as an analogy for theropods
predating adult sauropods. :-)
Of course, that analogy has some serious boot strapping in it in any
event. There are a variety of
reasons for herbivores to grow large (or huge), but avoiding being a
meal seems a pretty good incentive
for large size too. That doesn't answer the question about sauropod
defenses (the obvious case of
Titanosaurs aside), but being as gigantic as many adult sauropods
were IS a pretty serious deterrent.
And, providing even if a large carnivore was inclined to tackle a 30
plus ton Apatosaurus, simply having
your prey animal fall on you (if you are, say a 2.5 ton Allosaurus)
could prove fatal.
Now, I'm NOT saying adult sauropods were never predated, it's
simply difficult to believe that they
were routinely predated.