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Re: Saber-toothed cats and big theropods (was Re: Various minor subjects)

--- Steve  Brusatte <dinoland@lycos.com> wrote:

> Of course, that doesn't prove or refute pack
> hunting.  I think that Smilodon packs were probably
> quite common, although I can't prove this (other
> than by citing papers).  

They certainly may have closely associated, as lions
do, but why pack hunting?  Lions don't really hunt in

> I know that a plethora of
> Smilodon fossils have been found in Rancho La Brea
> with healed wounds, which has led Larry Martin (I
> believe) to hypothesize that mates or family members
> cared for the sick and injured.  

Why that is, I'm not sure.  Modern predators that live
in prides or packs (or whatever) are usually on their
own when they are injured.

(This same argument, by the way, was used by the Black
Hills people with respect to tyrannosaurs.  To see an
interesting perspective on this, check the archives
for Darren Tanke's perspective on "healed" tyrannosaur

> All this
> is theory, though.

Actually, it's hypothesis.  To be honest, I'm not
completely sure it's even hypothesis!
> However, I think it is plausible that some
> large theropods did hunt in packs.  Simply put, it
> may have been easier to hunt that way. 

Easier to hunt large animals, sure, but why assume
that large animals were the prey animals?  Isn't it
more plausible to argue that they hunted animals small
enough to take without serious risk of serious injury
or death?  Why is that so hard to accept?  Isn't that
in fact what the vast majority of predators do?


"Catapultam habeo. Nisi Pecuniam omnen mihi dabis ad capul tuum saxum immane 


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