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Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Survive? (Was: Hadrosaur "mummy" questions)




From: Mike Taylor <mike@seatbooker.net>
Reply-To: mike@seatbooker.net
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: How Did Hadrosaurs Survive? (Was: Hadrosaur "mummy" questions)
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 12:13:54 +0100 (BST)

> Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 11:32:48 +1000
> From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
>
> Since hadro's seem to lack any obvious means of defence (no horns or
> spikes), perhaps they were literally thick-skinned. An obvious
> advantage when being verbally abused by a ceratopian.  :)

Since it's been a bit quiet on here for the last few days, I may as
post my dumb question.  It's often bothered me that there seems to be
an ecological imbalance in those late-Cretaceous days: how on earth
did the hadrosaurs not _all_ get eaten by tyrannosaurs?


Hadrosaurs had keen senses which provided early warning of approaching tyrannosaurs. It is also noteworthy that the longest or last surviving hadrosaurs, the edmontosaurs, had a relatively gracile build and the longest legs to facilitate relatively fast escape. Btw, Brett-Surman once told me that hadrosaurs were more manueverable than tyrannosaurs.





So far as we
understand the morphology and its implications, the predators were
faster, stronger and probably smarter than their prey: so what _could_
a poor hadrosaur do once a tyrannosaur had decided to eat it?

I tried to imagine an analogously unbalanced contemporary system, but
couldn't come up with one.  Looking at cheetahs and antelopes, which
was the closest I could come up with, you say that the predator is
faster, stronger and smarter than the prey, BUT because it's only
faster over short distances the antelope has great chance if it keeps
its eyes open -- which is why only a small proportion of attacks end
in kills.  But as I understand it, there's no reason to think a
hadrosaur could outdistance a tyrannosaur.

So what am I missing?

Is it just possible that the ecological setup could have been
something completely alien to what we see today?  How about this: when
a tyrannosaur wanted to eat a hadrosaur, it did; but they didn't eat
the babies,

I don't know about babies but tyrannosaurs definitely ate subadlt hadrosaurs. Stomach contents indicate one may have been only several months old IIRC.




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