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Re: Dino reputation 'is exaggerated'

On Wednesday, October 12, 2005, at 08:21 PM, don ohmes wrote:

Seriously, sauropods were slow, weren't they? And if Velociraptors could climb trees, why couldn't they climb a startled sauropod? Note that the bigger sauros would be the most vulnerable due to speed differential. If you were a large sauropod and I had those claws, I could run up your shoulder and be on the back of that skinny neck before you could get your tail untangled.

It's obviously next to impossible to know if sauropods were slow. Regardless, climbing a sauropod's hide would be much more plausible than a hadrosaur. A sauropod would be much less likely to topple on to it's side from the weight of said predators. This does, however, seem plausible what happened w/ the Deinonychus pack vs tenontosaur discovery.

--- Jorge Dichenberg <jorgedich@yahoo.com> wrote:

In case you ever reincarnate as herbivorous dinosaur, just hit wildly with legs, tail and neck. These conveniently stuck Velociraptors will be crushed in seconds.

If by conveniently stuck you mean because the claw is hooked and would not be easy to quickly removed, wouldn't the "switchblade" action be the perfect answer to this? Also, do well to observe hunting groups of lions, african wild dogs, hyenas & wolves. They all grab prey and hold on until it's subdued while the poor prey al the while struggles best it can. Lions actually leap onto the prey as would our hypothesized raptors.

--- T. Michael Keesey wrote:
I have serious doubts that something as small as _Velociraptor_ could even break a sauropod's skin. Do caracals hunt elephants?

This is where the cutting edge of said claw would come into play best.

--- Jorge Dichenberg wrote:
Imagine a cat trying to climb a cow and kill it.
Improbable, isn't it?

That would depend on what kind of cat you're talking about. Lions, leopards, jaguars & tigers take down ungulates all the time. As for the smaller cats, a well placed slash to a vital vein around the threat should still cause a mortal wound.

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

In their defense, traveling to where larger game is found would put said meerkats in mortal danger from larger predators. Can meerkats climb to escape danger?

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.

Good points. What bothers me is that everyone's quick to say what their legs are NOT adapted to do well. What would these same people say they ARE adapted to do well. . . ?

--- Frank Bliss wrote:
If that kitty cat had claws the size of a Velociraptor, I wouldn't want it stalking me. Ever get a Maine Coon Cat mad at you? Bad Plan! (If you are not aware of Maine Coon Cats, do a google search and be surprised). Attitude accounts for a lot more than physical ability sometimes.

As can be seen in documentaries when badgers or wolverines square off w/ mountain lions. The mountain lion being about twice the size of the intruder doesn't stop said lion from retreating to a tree from it's vicious foe.