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Re: Velociraptor scavenged azhdarchid pterosaur



I had a similar thought. Perhaps the prey was old, injured, or otherwise infirm. Even a habitual scavenger might prey on an animal that was exhibiting distress.

In the case of a single bone fragment, would there be any evidence? At least with the presumed predator, there might be sufficient material to estimate its stage of development, presence of some kinds of injury, etc.


Ar 3/4/2012 1:07 PM, scríobh Ben Creisler:
From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A obvious question is why the Velociraptor happened to drop dead right
after eating the pterosaur bones. One possible scenario might be that
the Velociraptor was already ill or old, and had resorted to
scavenging to survive. I have not seen the paper yet so I don't know
if the taphonomy of the specimen or the health-state of the
Velociraptor individual is discussed.

This would seem to be an issue is various cases of specimens of
predators found with identifiable gut contents.The animal clearly died
or was killed within hours after feeding. If a predator was ill or
old, it might be scavenging because it was no longer able to hunt. In
such cases, the gut contents might not represent the typical diet of a
healthy individual.