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(was Re: ASVAP)

On 31-Mar-08, at 1:31 PM, Jamie Stearns wrote:
The key phrase here, of course, is "when they choose to strike".
Coyotes & their close cousins, jackals, are used to being the underdogs(no pun intended) among larger & more powerful carnivores (lions, hyenas, wolves, cougars). So yeah, they have to carefully choose when to go for it. I have a doc with a poor coyote getting rip to pieces by a pack of wolves 'cause "Wile.E" wasn't payin attention.

Most animals of Velociraptor's size aren't usually considered serious threats to humans, as they tend to avoid people rather than attack them.
Uhuh. What about this cop-chasing turkey(http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=XTiWdAPLJ-M&feature=related)? I've seen turkeys walk right up to & chase people plenty of times. And y'know, I recall a duck walking right up to me and biting my finger. Then again, I was only there when it happened. What do I know?

Of course, if one is dumb enough to try and pick it up or something, bad things would happen, but I don't see why velociraptors would attack humans on sight any more than modern carnivore of their size would.
For one, every carnivore of the same size doesn't behave the same. Every carnivore of the same species doesn't behave the same. Ever seen a Badger vs a LARGER Cougar? I've met enough chihuhua-sized dogs that were ready to try & take a nip out of me, unprovoked, while St. Bernards & Rotweilers barely showed interest. By this easily observable logic, the smaller the canine, the more aggressive. Then again, Velociraptor was not a canid.

As for the idea that several velociraptors attacking at once, there really isn't much evidence for pack hunting in Velociraptor that I can see. While the idea is plausible for Deinonychus, trying to infer one animal's social behavior from that of a relative that lived 20 million years earlier on another continent strikes me as problematic.

I agree. Personally, I would think that Velociraptor would primarily be a solitary hunter, perhaps unless they mated for life like some extant birds barring when young need protection. IMO, the teeth don't seem to be something a habitual group hunter would be able to get quick slashes in with until a larger prey is weakened sufficiently by the pack for the final blow(s). I'd assign it a diet of smaller creatures. As far as the specimen locked in "combat" with Protocerotops is concerned, I'd say it's a more likely case of what would happen IF Velociraptor was 'fortified' enough to tackle something it's size solo. Now juvenile Protos are a different story.