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Re: sauropod killers

At 01:26 am 2/04/00 -0500, TRUETT GARNER wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I've recently re-read Ricardo Delgados' excellent Age of Reptiles: Tribal
>> Warfare trade paperback. In one of the earliest scenes in the book, a
>pack of 
>> deinonychs attack and kill a sauropod by jumping up and slashing its
>neck. I 
>> began to wonder about this. Are the necks of sauropods this vulnerable?

>I seriously doubt that a Deinonychus would attempt an attack on a sauropod
>(other than a newborn) . There's no evidence of these animals
>hunting in packs (even if they did, they're still too small to be going
>after sauropods ! ) . Why would an animal this small go after the largest
>animal in it's environment , when there's plenty of small game ?
>Utahraptor , maybe ,and then probably sick , old  or young individuals.
>If anything preyed upon early Cretaceous sauropods in the Cloverly
>formation (or other , similarly aged formations in Western N. America) my
>vote would be for Acrocanthosaurus atokensis .

        Well, in the book, the sauropod in question would be something akin to
Saltasaurus, as it has large dermal nodules. But you're right in that this
individual would have to be a juvenile, as the scale of the Deinonychus to
it is quite large. I'd think, aside from the size,  it would hard for a
small predator to even pierce the skin of an adult sauropod, which may have
gotten tougher as it got older, much like our feet seem to do :). 
        Also, the book mixes and matches its characters, from the Deinosuchus
"Necromancer", icthyosaur "Kraken", Parasaurolpohus "Frog", Tyrannosaurus
family, early primate-oid*, and several others. 
        A beautiful work, but based more in fantasy than on concrete facts.

* Delgado was involved in the conceptual stages of "Dinosaur", yes? There
was a primate-like critter in "AoR".. perhaps this is the source of the
"lemurs" of "Dinosaur".. 

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