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




"Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." wrote:

> At 04:10 PM 4/28/99 -0500, "Megaraptor" wrote:
> >I'm glad someone agrees with me.  There are no real disadvantages to the
> >pack hunting life style.
>
> How about:
> 1. Competition with your siblings for food resources and mates.
> 2. Large necessary "home range" than an individual.

Wouldn't these actually be advantages instead of disadvantages? I mean,
the
strongest do survive, especially in carnivorous animals such as most
predatory
birds.

>
> for a couple?
>
> >In a pack you have:
> >
> > 1.A close knit family that helps in the care of the young
> > 2.Several eyes on the look out for danger.
> > 3.You are able to bring down larger prey and able to feed better.
> >
> >The discovery of the Tenontosaur skeleton and the several D.antirrhopus
> >skeletons only proves that at least on species of dromeosaurids hunted
> >in packs.
>
> Unfortunately, it doesn't prove it.  It *could* be consistant with a Komodo
> dragon-model: one or two individuals bring down a prey item, then others
> (who were not involved with the kill nor are associated with killers by
> bloodline) come by to scavenge at the carcass.
>

I wouldn't think it would be consistent with the Komodo Dragon-model. 
These
animals were built to kill in small, well organized packs.. These were
supposed
to be some of the most intelligent dinosaur at that time.  With
intelligence
comes organization, am I right?


>
> Also, I think that the site (where the babies were feeding on bones on large
> individuals) to which you refer is *NOT* a dromaeosaur site: it is Bakker's
> allosaur ("Wyomingraptor") site.  Different dinosaur entirely.

I don't think it was the Allosaur  "Wyoningraptor", I saw an episode of
Paleoworld that dealt with dromeosaurids and their life style.  Bakker
actually
showed a Tenontosaur bone with wounds from large and small dromeosaurid
teeth.


>
> Yes, there are advantages to pack hunting.  However, there are disadvantages 
> to
> being a solitary hunter, too.  Or an "opportunistic gang hunter" (not an
> organized pack of close kin, but random members of a population who converge
> on a kill site: sharks, for instance).

It doesn't make sense to me that being opportunistic while hunting is a
advantage, it's more like a disadvantage.  During the times of the year
that
most of the herds moved south for the dry season the dromeosaurids would
have
likely followed them.


>
> In Nature it is very rare for a single strategy to be "The Best".  That is
> one of the reasons for the vast diversity of life now and in the past.

I don't know what you meant by "a single strategy being 'the best'"

> Incidentally, I think that Ostrom & Maxwell's work does show that
> _Deinonychus_ was a pack hunter.

Thank you, it was most likely only D.antirrhopus that was a pack hunter,
but we
cannot rule out the rest of the dromeosaurids.

>
> 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.

True, maybe one or two species were solitary hunters and not pack
hunters like
D.antirrhopus.

>
> Pack hunting is a specialized behavior, and it is contingent on the person
> proposing pack hunting for a particular fossil species to show some sort of
> evidence (taphonomic, for instance) supporting that hypothesis.  Otherwise,
> the more common behaviors of solitary or "gang" hunting should be considered
> more likely.

"Gang hunting" isn't really hunting, it's more like an ambush. No
offense though
Mr. Holtz.

>
> Hope this helps.

Actually it does help a little.

--MegaRaptor