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Re: Harris' Hawks and Cheetahs

MariusRomanus@aol.com (Kris) wrote:
> I think there is one other bit of  "evidence".... Evidence for what 
> exactly?.... I have no idea.... But.... for those of you who went to SVP and 
> to the Sam Noble Nat. History Museum, you saw a mount of  two *Deinonychus* 
> attacking an adult and 3 juvie *Tenontosaurus*. Now, the funny thing is that 
> this particular mount is based, not off of the Ostrom/Maxwell Montana find, 
> but, from a death assembledge found in Oklahoma's Panhandle. I took a photo 
> or two of the mount, including a pic of a drawing made about the taphonomy of 
> the site. It looks hauntingly similar to the Ostrom/Maxwell Montana site.

If Deinonychus regularly got killed when they tackled a Tenontosaurus,
then you'd think it wasn't something they did very often. Lions will
occasionally attack Cape buffalo if they are desperate enough, and
sometimes get killed in the process, but buffalo don't constitute their
main prey species. We could be seeing extremes of behaviour fossilised
here, rather than the norm.

Alternatively, you could ask why these Deinonychus / Tenontosaurus sites
get fossilised in the first place. Could the Deinonychus have been
feeding on animals trapped in mud during a long dry spell, when water
holes began to dry up? The Deinonychus themselves could have been
trapped and killed as well - either scavenging dead Tenontosaurus,
reluctantly killing trapped but still living animals, or simply going
after the same thing that drew the herbivores, the dwindling water

There are so many scenarios that could lead to similar fossil situations
that untangling palaeo-behaviour can be next to impossible. Just look at
the various interpretations made of archaeological remains. Grand
stories can be built on the flimsiest of evidence (and if an artefact
has no immediately obvious practical use, it must be a ceremonial item!)


Dann Pigdon                   Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/