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Re: Follow-up on Lions of Savuti

Larry Dunn wrote:
> ---Chris Campbell <Sankarah@ou.edu> wrote:
> > Since issues of size, intelligence,
> > and physical capability have all been addressed (i.e., claiming that
> > cooperative behavior was impossible is no longer tenable), the
> >question remains wide open.
> The argument that cooperative hunting by theropods was *impossible*
> was never made by me or, to the best of my recollection, by anyone
> else.

Seeing as how a huge part of the thread dealt with therapod
intelligence, the mechanics of using that sickle claw to kill, size
ratios of dromaeosaurs and their purported prey, and comparable ratios
for modern predators and their prey, I think it's obvious this statement
is ludicrous.  Such claims were in fact made, by you, on numerous
occasions.  You claimed dromaeosaurs were too dumb to do it, physically
incabable of doing it, and too small to do it successfully.  When each
of these points was refuted, and when Brian and others argued
convincingly that the overall argument was moot since it could never be
proven either way, you changed your tune.
> Because I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll note that my argument was that
> such behavior, often more or less assumed, is in fact unsupported by
> any evidence, either physical or circumstantial, making it a rather
> peculiar subject of hypothesis.

Actually, it was Brian who waded in and baldly stated this, at which
point the thread promptly ended.  Your argument was (for a time, anyway)
that such a thing could not happen.  If you acknowledge that it could
happen but is not either supported or discredited by the available
evidence, and further insist that this has been your argument all along,
I fail to see why you'd bother bringing up the elephants at this late
date, as they're irrelevant to your case.  If I actually did mistake
your argument in that debate, and it truly was what you claim, there's
no need for anyone to comment on the issue further, as it's been
resolved to the satisfaction of all involved.
> This seems an apt time to note that I've completed the book on the
> Savuti lions and it makes no reference to them "piling on" adult
> elephants as was at times alleged in the thread referenced above.

The point is moot since, as was pointed out in the thread in question,
many modern predators take on prey much larger than themselves.  The
best example was actually African Hunting Dogs, which take on prey (such
as zebra) up to ten times the mass of any individual dog.  This
difference is proportionately much greater than that found between
Deinonychus and Tenontosaurus, wherein the latter, when fully mature, is
estimated by Ostrom to be perhaps four to five times the size of an
adult Deinonychus.  This makes elephants completely irrelevant for both
sides of the argument in question.  As such, let me be the first to ask
that we just drop it and move on.