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



On Tue, 22 May 2001 20:29:55 -0400 Graydon <graydon@dsl.ca> wrote:
>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.)
>
I think the statement " Keep in mind that most carnivores aren't smart; they 
have 
good reflexes. It's generally the omnivores that are smart." ...is a very 
limited 
one. I cannot accept that carnivores are subordinate to omnivore or herbivore 
intelligence and adaptivity. That makes no sense. It would appear it is 
difficult 
enough to retrieve prey in a standard 3 to 1 predator/prey ratio environment, 
let 
alone assume the predators are "dumb". The skill of ensnarling prey is far from 
simple, and when it is you against a herd, you have to be smarter than your 
prey. 
Reflexes are given to carnivores for maneuverability, not to make up for 
smarts. 


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