[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Survive? (Was: Hadrosaur "mummy" questions)
>Hadrosaurs had keen senses which provided early warning of approaching
>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. <
But yet earlier Cretaceous hadrosaurs managed to survive long enough to
produce ancestor species, and become fossilize in relative abundance as
well, and they had to contend with "faster" tyrannosaurs.
Look at HP Holtz's latest publication (available on PDF on his website), and
it talks about some paleobiological implications of large dinosaurian
predators (such as they would need a huge territory to prevent decimation of
the local fauna, may have preferred younger animals, etc.). Couple this with
the high reproductive rate of archosaurs in general, and the fact that they
likely didn't need to eat every day (I can't think of any large bodied land
predator that eats every day, but I could be wrong), and some hadrosaurs
being gregarious, I don't really see a problem with hadrosaurs surviving.
Warning! Speculative scenario below!!!:
If you figure a herd of 100 hadrosaurs (possibly a small number, based on
the Maiasaura bone bed, but let's keep it focused) in an area with 1
Tyrannosaurus, 2-3 ankylosaurs, and a small herd (20) of Triceratops. Add in
herbivore migration. Assuming the Tyrannosaurus eats once a week (and may
not always be successful in bringing down prey), you may lose one or two
hadrosaurs before the herd exists its territory. Plus, there are other prey
items around, and we do know Tyrannosaurus snacked on Triceratops as well.
Maybe its just me, but I don't see that big of a problem being able to
survive...I mean, we know they did manage to survive, I think understanding
exactly why we may require a greater understanding of the paleoecosystem,
for the hadrosaur fossils may not tell us what we need to know.
Student of Geology
400 E. McConnell Drive #11
Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Az. 86001
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
> old IIRC.
> > _/|_ __________________________________________________________
> Protect your PC - get McAfee.com VirusScan Online