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



On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Mike Taylor wrote:
> > Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 10:32:49 -0600 (MDT)
> > From: Richard W Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
> >
> > > 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?
> > > 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?
> > 
> > Substitute "gazelle" for hadrosaur and "lion" for tyrannosaur.
> 
> I thought gazelles could easily outrun lions over medium-to-long
> distances?  It appears, from what we can infer about the mechanics of
> these animals, that this wouldn't be true of hadros vs. tyrannos.

Use your favorite modern equivalent.
 
> > Predator/prey ratio. Lots of hadrosaurs, fewer predators.
> 
> ... which conditions would surely lead to more predators?

If ever you have more predators than prey it would be bad for all
concerned.
 
> > Plus lots of other prey animal species.
> 
> Well, what sensible rex is going to risk life and limb going after a
> _Triceratops_ when there's a nice, tasty, defenceless _Anatotitan_ in
> the next field?  :-)

But plenty of young triceratops...