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Re: Velociraptor profiles

On Fri, 22 Mar 2002, Jerzy Dyczkowski wrote:

- claw marks on Protoceratops skull and ribs. If Velociraptor claw was
killing weapon, and Velociraptor was fighting it's claws should leave
marks on bone. Less likely, if it was grasping the carcass.

If the Velociraptor and Proto had had only been struggling for a moment, then the Protoceratops may have not incurred any other injuries (other than the neck). On the other hand, if the Proto was a scavenged carcass, then it should have scratches all over it. So if the the skeleton has extensive tooth/claw marks, then I think that lends weight to the idea that it was already dead, not alive.

On Monday, March 25, 2002, at 02:19  PM, Jerzy Dyczkowski wrote:

Claws of leopard or lion make visible grooves on the bone. I would expect
Protoceratops skull and ribcage covered with parallel scratches from V
trying to get free. Part of skull is abraded, but still there is enough

Again, if they had only been struggling a moment, then such scratches may not be present.

I understand, that alternative explanation is that V was being buried
alive by sand (or sand with water) and tried to grab the only thing which
happened to be around - Protoceratops carcass (probably it just scavenged
it before) and tried to hold to it, or climb on it, a bit like drowning
man trying to get some support from a plank of wood or floating barrel.
In process, it grabbed the head and put it's hand into the carcass mouth
for better hold. So this would be "the bite". Still impressive story, if
you have pictoral imagination.

Protoceratops wouldn't have floated as well as a Velociraptor. Why grab hold of the head of all places? Put it's hand in carcass mouth for a better hold? The hand isn't in the mouth, the elbow is, and that would not have given it a better grip.

The feet are curled up around the Proto's neck. This doesn't look like a "swept away and hanging on" pose. The feet and the hands are exerting pressures in opposite directions, like it is kicking.

I'm sorry, but the the "scavenging then hanging on" theory just seems too implausible to me.

BTW - judging from the photo, P may be preserved in standing position,
with all feet on the ground. If so, the live/dead debate will be settled.

I agree. Though I can't for the life of me figure out how it would be preserved in a standing position, perhaps you have some ideas?


John Conway, Palaeoartist

"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

Protosite: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/