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RE: Velociraptor v. Protoceratops?
On Thu, 9 Aug 2001, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> There are some problems I have with Osmolska's hypothesis. For one, the
> position of the hindlimbs of the Velociraptor. The right leg is underneath
> the main mass of the body of the Protoceratops, which would be an unusual
> position for a scavenger to wind up in (although watching our cats roll
> around with toys they are playing with, you never know... Of course, my
> cats' toys typically do not outweigh the cats!).
> It is the left foot, though, which I find most unlikely for a scavenger, as
> the claw of digit II is extremely close to the vertebral column. Presumably
> it was within the flesh of the ornithischian: this position makes sense if
> the dromaeosaurid was trying to kill the Protoceratops, but would seem very
> unlikely if the Velociraptor was simply trying to feed on a carcass.
> Similarly, the position of the right forearm of the Velociraptor within the
> beak of the Protoceratops seems unlikely if the latter were already dead.
I agree that it seems to be a very unlikely pose for a scavenger (and
why would a scavenger suddenly die? That Is why I proposed that the
Velociraptor wasn't feeding at all it was hanging on for dear life while
in a powerfull sediment flow. If the scavenging happened after both
creatures were dead it seems a little odd that Protoceratops attracted
all the attention while the Velociraptor is undisturbed. As for the arm
in the mouth, this might be able to demonstrate that the Protoceratops
was alive when the two came in contact, depending on how tightly clamped
that arm really is. In my scenario I would have the arm being forced
into that position by the force of the current pulling the Velocirptor
away from the Protoceratops while the its hand clung to the side of the
face of the Proto. carcass. I guess it will all remain speculation. Many
of the scenarios are possible, all are improbable. All I can offer is
that if my scenario is correct then it may have been a repeating
phenomenon rather than a one-off fluke. Perhaps we'll find enough pair
of skeletons locked in an embrace, hopefully this time it will a little
oviraptorid hanging off of an ankylosaur so we can rule out predation.
> Ah, a good murder mystery (or is it a murder)...
Indeed it certainly fits the criterion of being well aged.