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

At 11:03 AM 5/3/99 -0400, Laurie Nyveen wrote:
>At 10:46 -0400 5/3/99, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>>Nevertheless, it works.  Sometimes different strategies work in different
>>ways, but achieve the same end (survival of that particular lineage).  If
>>pack hunting were the best way of hunting, why aren't all felids and canids
>>and hyaenids (and monitor lizards and rattlesnakes and hawks and frogs...)
>>pack hunters?  Different strokes for different taxa.
>Because in order to benefit from pack hunting, you need to share the prey.
>And in order to do that, you need teeth that can carve up shared prey.
>What's a pack of frogs going to do?  A pack of snakes?
>Hypothesis: A species can be ruled out as a pack hunter if it does not have
>cutting teeth.

Well, or beaks (as in carnivorous birds), or at least *some* means of
dividing up the carcass.

So, yes, Laurie has proposed a necessary (but not sufficient) morphological
correlate for group feeding (and pack hunting, a more exclusive category of
the latter).

Well done.

>Of course, humpbacks and their bubble nets blow this hypothesis to shreds,
>but it may hold for terrestrial hunters.


Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661