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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.)

               To maintain the end is to uphold the means.