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Re: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur

Mickey Mortimer <mickey_mortimer111@msn.com> wrote:

> Scavenging's certainly possible, but since the closely related Deinonychus is 
> generally accepted as predating Tenontosaurus (which is about as heavy
> compared to Deinonychus as Quetzelcoatlus is compared to Velociraptor), I 
> don't see how we can favor one hypothesis over another.  Sure I'm assuming
> that the Velociraptor was found singly, but if Roach and Brinkman (2007) are 
> correct that Deinonychus did not live in packs but merely aggregated to kill,
> then a lone dromaeosaurid with parts of a large animal in its belly is just 
> what we'd expect.

There's also the famous "fighting dinosaurs": _Velociraptor_ preserved
in combat with _Protoceratops_.  The _Velociraptor_ (an adult) is
estimated to have have weighed around 24 kg, the _Protoceratops_ at
least that much.

For the Hone &c study, the _Velociraptor_ was a sub-adult estimated to
have tipped the scales at 13 kg.  The pterosaur is estimated to have
weighed at least 9 kg.  So IMHO the contest between _Velociraptor_ and
pterosaur would be less daunting than _Velociraptor_ vs
_Protoceratops_.  Also, pterosaurs (even azhdarchids) were less adept
on the ground than velociraptorines.  Would it really have been
prohibitively difficult for a  _Velociraptor_ to attack an azhdarchid
of comparable (or even lesser) body mass?  Even if the pterosaur
weighed substantially more than the _Velociraptor_, predation still
seems to be well within the realm of possibility.