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RE: Dromaeosaur hunting strategy : cat style, dog style ??
Dr. Holtz wrote-
Incidentally, there are two theropod predation articles (one is Farlow &
Holtz, one is just me) which should be published in the space of the next
More to wait for. :)
Here's some papers and books I'd recently read discussing predation (sort
of) at least that you might want to look up sometime.
Carpenter, Kenneth; Evidence of predatory behavior by carnivorous
dinosaurs. Gaia 15:135-144 December 1998
ABSTRACT: Evidence for predatory behavior in the fossil record is rare,
especially for dinosaurs. Two unambigious examples document instances of
predatory-prey relationships among the dinosaurs. The first example is of
the small predator Velociraptor OSBORN 1924 buried with its prey,
Protoceratops GRANGER & GREGORY 1923. As interpreted, the left hand of the
Velociraptor is between the clenched beak of the Protoceratops, the left
hand of Velociraptor is grasping the face of the Protoceratops, and the
sickle claw of the right foot of the Velociraptor is extended into what was
the throat of the prey. The second example is a section of mutilated
caudal neural spines in an adult specimen of the hadrosaur Edmontosaurus
LAMBE 1920. The damage suggests an attack by a very large theropod believed
to have been Tyrannosaurus OSBORN 1905. Bone regrowth indicates that the
hadrosaur survived the attack, and that the damage could not have been
caused by scavenging. These two examples suggest that both small and large
theropods, Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus in particular, could actively hunt
and attack prey species.
Coombs, Steven; Could *Spinosaurus aegyptiacus* beat a full-grown *T. rex*?
Alberta Paleontological Society Bulletion. December 2001
Currie, Philip; Possible evidence of gregarious behavior in tyrannosaurids.
Gaia 15:271-277 December 1998
ABSTRACT: In 1910, a collecting party from the American Museum of Natural
History led by Barnum Brown floated down the Red Deer River of Alberta. In
the Horseshoe Canyon Formation (Edmonton Group, Campanian-Maastrichtian,
Upper Cretaceous) close to the mouth of Big Valley Creek, they excavated
semi-articulated skeletons of several individuals of Albertosaurus
sarcophagus OSBORN, 1905 from a single quarry. Other than the
tyrannosaurids, only two hadrosaur phalanges were recovered. Eight
articulated feet with associated limb bones were given catalogue numbers, as
was an articulated string of twenty-five caudal vertebrae.
The remaining tyrannosaurid fossils that could not be associated with any of
these specimens or with each other were all assigned a single number.
Brown's other discoveries of well-preserved dinosaur skeletons in southern
Alberta overshadowed the tyrannosaurid find, and the specimens were largely
forgotten. However, it is the best evidence that exists to suggest that
tyrannosaurids may have been gregarious animals. The almost complete lack of
herbivore bones from the excavation suggests that this was probably not a
predator trap, such as has been postulated for the Allosaurus MARSH, 1877
accumulation at the Cleveland-Lloyd Quarry near Price, Utah. Comparative
measurements indicate that juvenile tyrannosaurids were probably almost as
fast at running as ornithomimids. This suggests a division of labor amongst
a hunting pack of tyrannosaurids.
Tanke, Darren & Currie, Philip; Head-biting in theropod dinosaurs:
paleopathological evidence. Gaia 15:167-184 December 1998
ABSTRACT: Cranial material of Sinraptor dongi (Upper Jurassic, Xinjiang,
China), Gorgosaurus libratus, Daspletosaurus torosus (Upper Cretaceous,
Alberta, Canada), and other large theropod dinosaurs exhibit similar
paleopathological anomalies indicative of aggressive intra-or interspecific
biting. Tooth strike trauma includes osseous lesions caused by solitary or
multiple tooth punctures, or by dragging or gouging the tooth tips across
the surfaces of cranial elements. Many of these lesions were undergoing
active healing at the time of death.
One isolated tyrannosaurid dentary bears a broken off and embedded tooth tip
of another tyrannosaur. Comparison with unhealed large theropod toothmarks
on prey bone suggests that sublethal wounds of these types were caused by
other large theropods, possibly rival
conspecifics. This may indicate aggressive head or face-biting behavior in
certain theropod families. Other associated traumatic osteopathy typified as
localized rib and fibula fractures were observed but cannot be directly
correlated with violent intra- or interspecific behavior.
Healed and healing bite wounds of the head may be related to a number of
factors. Establishment of dominance within a pack and territorial behavior
are considered as two of the most likely causes. Study of paleopathologies
is demonstrated to be a useful tool for understanding
Hope this helps,
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