Saturday, March 15, 2008

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

7 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?