----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 1:10
Subject: Coprophagy addendum
My use of "dromaeosaur 'packs'"
was an alliterative generalization, not a diagnosis within the paradigms of
phylogenetic systematics. Allow me to reword it this way: it is possible that,
when two theropods were in the same general area, it is possible they may have
seen the same prey, and it is possible they may have, in concert, chased,
cornered, and killed the prey.
It's of course possible, maybe even
probable... but I think that's it, considering that there's a counterexample:
Bears won't cooperate, they are extreme individualists. They'd drive each other
off before hunting.
Moreover, if one or more
theropods were observing this behaviour, and joined in the frolic, one can,
then, make the deduction that a flock/pack, within a temporal framework, was
in the works.
Or not. Maybe I'm misunderstanding
your wording, which to me sounds like all this would happen automatically, which
it won't in every case.
Hence, I infer that it is
possible "dromaeosaurs" (in the broad vernacular sense of the word known to
all of us), or velociraptors, or whatever, were pack hunters, were, in fact,
highly mobile animals living in social groups...unless, one chooses to think
there was interregnums between meals, and the theropods wandered off
separately to preen and confound the situation.
It's certainly possible. I just
fear it's untestable for most species. :-|
Your quibbling is non-scientific,
as there is every indication that dinosaurs were social
There is quite some indications
that several species were indeed social animals. But if you generalize as much
as I understand your wording, I disagree.