Skip to main content

Velociraptor mongoliensis

I've been fooling around again toying with the idea of a Velociraptor mongoliensis perching atop a recently deceased carcass and intimidating its competitors, presumably other Velociraptor individuals. As a few of us have discussed here, according to Roach and Brinkman (2007), the evidence for pack-hunting behaviour in dromaeosaurs is pretty slim. The authors are casting doubt over Deinonychus regularly hunting large prey in a highly coordinated pack-hunting style, mainly based on the loose cooperative hunting styles seen in extant archosaurs (a couple of species of crocodiles and plenty of examples of predatory birds) and the komodo dragon.

Komodo dragons are known to solitarily take down prey as much as 10 times its own size. On this basis, the authors mention that it would be possible for a 70 - 100 kg Deinonychus to solitarily take down a Tenontosaurus anywhere between 700 - 1000 kg.

The fossil sites are reexamined as well. The Deinonychus skeleton(s) found with the Tenontosaurus may have been victim to intraspecific fighting and were killed and eaten by larger adult Deinonychus as frequently observed in komodo dragons and some predatory birds. The large degree of disarticulation of the Deinonychus skeleton as opposed to the more articulated Tenontosaurus seem to indicate that the freshly killed Deinonychus may have been more apetising for the aggregated Deinonychus individuals. The other individuals probably aggressively tore apart and consumed the dead Deinonychus, leaving only the bony bits with not much meat like the manus, pes and tail.

That was pretty much recycling my DinoBase post but I thought it was a pretty cool study. Here, I envisage Velociraptor in a similar fashion - Velociraptor and Deinonychus are pretty closely related even within dromaeosaurs so we could infer something similar. I just like the idea of dromaeosaurs having something like a furry crest so I overdid it and gave this guy a lot of hair - or perhaps its ruffling its "feathers". Anyway, note that this raptor's got its sickle claw dug into the carcass to firmly hang on.

Reference:
Brian T. Roach and Daniel L. Brinkman 2007. A Reevaluation of Cooperative Pack Hunting and Gregariousness in Deinonychus antirrhopus and Other Nonavian Theropod Dinosaurs. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 48: 103–138

Comments

Zach Miller said…
Looks like he's got a racoon tail, but otherwise very cool, sir!
Mambo-Bob said…
Hehehe - yeah, I noticed that as well...but I thought, "It looks kinda funky" :P
Snatch said…
Hi. Any chance i can get my hands on the referenced paper??
I go to University of Bristol and doing assessment abt dinosaur social behaviour but we dont have access to the paper by the looks of it...

Thanks
Mambo-Bob said…
I could send you the pdf via e-mail...
Snatch said…
is that alright???

my email account for bristol is sm6462.

Thank you very much!!
jesss said…
DOES ANYONE KNOW THE STRUCTURAL, BEHAVIOURAL AND FUNCTIONAL ADAPTATIONS OF A VELOCIRAPTOR MONGOLIENSIS??

PLEASE HELP..
Manabu Sakamoto said…
>jesss
Structural, behavioural and functional adaptations for what specifically?

Popular posts from this blog

R for beginners and intermediate users 3: plotting with colours

For my third post on my R tutorials for beginners and intermediate users, I shall finally touch on the subject matter that prompted me to start these tutorials - plotting with group structures in colour.

If you are familiar with R, then you may have noticed that assigning group structure is not all that straightforward. You can have a dataset that may have a column specifically for group structure such as this:

B0 B1 B2 Family
Acrocanthosaurus 0.308 -0.00329 3.28E-05 Allosauroidea
Allosaurus 0.302 -0.00285 2.04E-05 Allosauroidea
Archaeopteryx 0.142 -0.000871 2.98E-06 Aves
Bambiraptor 0.182 -0.00161 1.10E-05 Dromaeosauridae
Baryonychid 0.189 -0.00238 2.20E-05 Basal_Tetanurae
Carcharodontosaurus 0.369 -0.00502 5.82E-05 Allosauroidea
Carnotaurus 0.312 -0.00324 2.94E-05 Neoceratosauria
Ceratosaurus 0.377 -0.00522 6.07E-05 Neoceratosauria
Citipati 0.278 -0.00119 5.08E-06 Oviraptorosauria
Coelophysi…

The difference between Lion and Tiger skulls

A quick divergence from my usual dinosaurs, and I shall talk about big cats today. This is because to my greatest delight, I had discovered today a wonderful book. It is called The Felidæ of Rancho La Brea (Merriam and Stock 1932, Carnegie Institution of Washington publication, no. 422). As the title suggests it goes into details of felids from the Rancho La Brea, in particular Smilodon californicus (probably synonymous with S. fatalis), but also the American Cave Lion, Panthera atrox. The book is full of detailed descriptions, numerous measurements and beautiful figures. However, what really got me excited was, in their description and comparative anatomy of P. atrox, Merriam and Stock (1932) provide identification criteria for the Lion and Tiger, a translation of the one devised by the French palaeontologist Marcelin Boule in 1906. I have forever been looking for a set of rules for identifying lions and tigers and ultimately had to come up with a set of my own with a lot of help fro…

Top 10 scientifically important theropod dinosaurs of all time (off the top of my head)

I thought I'd do a fun post for once. And since list based articles are the norm for fun on the internet, I thought I'd do one on dinosaurs, but given that I know most about theropods, I've decided to restrict my list to theropods (...maybe in a future post, I'll do other clades).

My ranking is based mostly on scientific importance so it may not reflect awesomeness, and it is obviously subjective as to how I rank importance to science. For instance, interesting discoveries or unique palaeobiology are ranked relatively low compared to wealth of information and data or completely revolutionising our understanding of the evolution of theropods.

So here are my top 10 scientifically important theropod dinosaurs of all time (off the top of my head)

10. Megalosaurus

Being the first dinosaur to be named, Megalosaurus automatically deserves a spot on this list, but given the fragmentary nature of known fossil specimens, and being mostly useless as a meaningful source for biologi…