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Re: Dino reputation 'is exaggerated'



--- don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:
 
> Seriously, sauropods were slow, weren't they? And if
> Velociraptors could climb trees, why couldn't they
> climb a startled sauropod? 

Imagine a cat trying to climb a cow and kill it.
Improbable, isn't it? 

I was simulated and looked at skeleton of
Velociraptor. 
There exists a living mammal matching amlmost all
adaptations of it. It has big eyes, long skull, small
sharp teeth, carries it's head forward, has big claws
(although on foreleges, not hindlegs), long body,
shortened legs and long tail which can be pointed
vertically. It is predator, very active, lives in
groups in sandy semi-deserts. 

This description fits, surprisingly, a meerkat. Small
predator adapted to running in dense vegetation,
digging and climbing. Claws are used for digging and
climbing. Even combination of shortish legs and tail
which can be pointed upwards fits - it is used by
meerkats to keep visual contact in thick vegetation. 

Pack of meerkats can be fierce. But they typically
hunt animals much smaller than their size. 

In contrast, Velociraptor has adaptations
contradictory to modern big predatory mammals (ones
that hunt animals bigger than themselves). Big claw is
not supported by thick leg bones needed to withstand
forces when fighting prey. Modern big cats and polar
bears have much thicker legs and jaws. Velociraptor
has thin bones and elongated skull - not suitable for
wrestling. Head facing forward makes no sense in
animal confronting prey much higher than itself. Legs
are shortened which is not a good adaptation for fast
running or jumping. Extremely long tail would be very
vulnerable to breaking or indeed, biting by prey.  

In short, it was a small predator, not a big one. For
Velociraptor, peaceful Dinotopia is better than
violent Jurassic Park. ;)

J.



        
                
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