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RE: Photos of hadrosaur survival

I think lion and T-rex has a completely different hunting strategy. I think it is not appropriate to "sim" the T-rex hunting situation based on lion.

Lion, with four limbs and lighter body, used a "pull down" approach. They can hold the prey with their limb and pull down before the kill. The characteristic of this strategy :
- It takes longer time for the "fighting" (catch the prey, hold it and pull it down)
- More time for the prey to defend during the "fighting period" (kick, jump, ...)

For T-rex it is very different. With such a power jaw, heavy body but supported by 2 legs, one or two ambush bite can be enough to weaken or kill the prey. To speculate, I think T-rex will not risk for injury (injury on hindlimb can be fatal) on holding and fighting with prey. Rather, it will take a "land shark" approach (bite, keep a distance to "review" the result and decide) With this,
- Most of the time T-rex has a "safety distance" with the prey
- It is less likely for the prey to kick T-rex.

To conclude I think T-rex vs hadrosaurs should be different to lions vs zebra.

However, I think the hunting of T-rex is not that easy. One of the key of successful factor is a successful ambush. T-rex is such a big predator. To completely hide itself for herds of hadrosaurs eyes will not be easy. I suspect most of the time because of striking distance/timing hadrosaurs flee before the a successful bite. But this has assumed hadrosaurs is at least as speedy as T-rex.

For the speed of hadrosaurs, I suspect the angular momentum for T-rex will be higher than the hadrosaurs. This is because T-rex has a heavier jaws while hadrosaurs has most of the weight along the centre of gavity. It means that hadrosaurs are more agile in turning than T-rex. Anyway this is only speculation. I wonder if there is any study on that.


kevin@pathology.hku.hk writes:

Zebras kill lions because in order to bring down a zebra a lion needs to attack its haunch, which is within the range of the kicking hind legs of the zebra. But, the
well-known bite mark on the tail of Edmonton suggests to me that a large
predator such as T. rex could attack their tail regions which are beyond the
reach of their legs. At least i can say the attack on duckbills by T. rex was a
lot safer than attacking the zebras by lions. <

I think you missed my subtle point. Not every lion dies when it attacks a
zebra. ie: They don't screw up. But sometimes... juuuuuust sometimes... things
go bad... really really bad. Tyrannosaurs were not excluded from the mistake
department... If they put themselves into a position within striking distance
of those thick tails or powerful hind feet... and they made a mistake... snap
crackle pop goes the legs. And really, one bite mark... from one animal...
which in effect was just a nip... doesn't mean that THE strategy for
tyrannosaurs was to run around nipping the tails of hadrosaurs as their way of
bringing one of them down. (How did they attack ceratopsians like that?) Even
if you want to say this was a Great White / Elephant Seal (similar sized prey
and predator) strategy going on, it's still off base. White sharks don't nip...
Nipping doesn't immobilize your prey, limiting the chance of injury to the
predator. Nipping means that the predator has to give chase after the!
frantic, fleeing, thrashing prey White sharks fly in from an ambush and hit
hard and fast, removing a hunk of flesh by creating a deep lacerating wound.
One bite, and it's over. No need to waste energy chasing after a dangerously
powerful seal. The massive and powerful jaws of tyrannosaurs most likely
evolved to deliver a single, decimating, bone crushing bite to some vital area,
such as the hips or spine, of it's dangerously powerful and agile prey, be it
ceratopsian or hadrosaur, that cut right straight through muscle and sinew and
into the bone, removing a nice large chunk of flesh. The result of such massive
trauma would drop the animal in a few heart beats as panic increased the
animal's heart rate, effectively causing it to bleed out in no time. Risky?
Yes. But what predator attacks it's prey risk free? With fire power like
that... why waste energy and expose the tyrannosaur to a greater chance for
injury by only nipping at tails???


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