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darren.naish@port.ac.uk wrote:
> As similar 'mobbing' behaviours are seen in monitor lizards (there is
> film of several Komodo monitors bringing down a deer together) and
> crocs, we can bet that it was very probably present in the
> behavioural repertories of extinct dinosaurs. As for TRUE pack
> hunting, a la carnivorans, well, I don't think so.

Why do people tend to stress the difference between "true" pack
hunting and what I suppose could be called opportunistic group
hunting? Surely the outcome is the same regardless of the technique -
a group of animals bring down prey they would otherwise find more
difficult to catch by themselves. Personally I find the group
hunting of the cerebrally challenged species far more impressive.
They're doing much the same thing as the "brainier" mammals but manage
it on only a fraction of the brain power. I call that efficiency.

Does the so called "true" pack hunting involve greater communication
skills or more complex social structuring? If so, crocs would seem
to be as well versed in both behavioural aspects as any mammal.
They use body postures and vocalisation to communicate with each other,
and many species (like the estuarine crocs) have well defined
territorial boundaries and pecking orders. They also seem to use
spatial strategies to bring down large prey together.

Again, why differentiate "true" pack hunting? Are us mammal-centric
creatures so arrogant as to have to separate mammalian behaviours
from the rest of the animal kingdom?  :)

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: