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Re: Would the Real Dromaeosaur please walk thru the door?



On Tue, May 22, 2001 at 10:11:39PM -0000, omtvedt@hjem.as scripsit:
> I couldn't agree more with that. Lifestyle has EVERYTHING to do with
> an animals behavior. And diet follows right after. Directly
> assimulating dromaeosaurs with emus is a step in the wrong direction.
> You can't just pick a large bipedal bird and compare attributes with
> dinosaurs, just because there is speculation of relations between the
> two. If anything, birds of prey would have more behavioral
> similarities with theropods than enus. You are making dromaeosaurs
> look like they are overgrown parrots in cumbersome fightless bird
> bodies.

Parrots are a rotten analogy -- parrots are very smart, in a number of
complex ways, probably the most intelligent extant birds.

Bakker's 'giant ground running hawks and eagles' is, I think, a limited
analogy, due to relative prey sizes -- better for large tyrannosaurs
than for small maniraptorans.  For things like oviraptosaurs, ratites
might be rather *good* analogies.

> On the contrary, it is easy to assume these animals were far from
> stupid, we have found them in supppossed packs. Struthioformes are not
> hunters, per say. And they don't hunt in packs and round up prey. And
> brain size has never been a suitable case for measuring intelligence.
> If you look at what the animal tells us thru the fossil record, and
> not try to see dromaeosaurs thru the modern bird of your choice, we
> have a better chance at having a more open mind on the possibilities
> of dromaeosaur capabilities.

Keep in mind that most carnivores aren't smart; they have good reflexes.
It's generally the omnivores that are smart.  (more varied situations to
deal with, and more benefit from trying new things.)

-- 
                           graydon@dsl.ca
               To maintain the end is to uphold the means.