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As predatory dinosaurs

As predatory dinosaurs

Researchers have provided evidence that small predatory dinosaurs, contrary to Hollywood's opinion, did not hunt at all in a single, cohesive flock.

In relation to prehistoric times, the word "predator" conjures up images of lean, armed with sharp claws and teeth. As in the best Hollywood blockbusters, they pursue their prey in a flocking manner, guided by the principles of social behavior and collective hunting, like modern wolves Alas, the longer scientists study dinosaurs, the more often they come to the conclusion that all these are just beautiful fantasies.

The study begins, of course, by studying the behavior of the direct descendants of predatory dinosaurs - reptiles and birds. “The fact is that modern“ dinosaurs ”usually do not hunt in groups and very rarely attack prey that is larger than themselves,” explained paleontologist Joseph Frederickson of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Frederickson and his colleagues analyzed the teeth of the carnivorous dinosaur Deinonychus antirrhopus and ancient crocodiles that inhabited North America during the Cretaceous - from 115 to 108 million years ago - to find clues about how the mighty lizards actually hunted. Their article explains that social animals that hunt together usually provide offspring with parental care. This means that children follow the same diet as adults. But in species that do not hunt in groups, the diet of young animals is different from adults - young animals are not able to hunt as effectively as adults.

For example, the cubs of modern crocodiles are gradually moving from insects to fish and crustaceans, and then to large animals, if we are talking about a freshwater crocodile native to Australia (Crocodylus johnstoni). Researchers can detect a similar change in diet in fossilized teeth by measuring 13 carbon isotopes.

As predatory dinosaurs


It is possible that dinosaurs were feathered 3–3–325.

Frederickson and his colleagues found that crocodile teeth of the Cretaceous period also observed an equivalent change between the composition of the teeth in young animals and mature animals. They performed the same analysis on 20 teeth of D. antirrhopus of different sizes, extracted from two different places.

“The smallest and largest teeth differ in average values of carbon isotopes, which suggests that their owners consumed different products. This means that the young did not feed with the adults, so we believe that the Jurassic Park was wrong about the behavior patterns of predators, ”Frederickson writes.

Currently, researchers lack D. D. antirrhopus tooth samples for a more in-depth analysis of the idea of a “lone hunter,” but even now they have enough data for certain conclusions. A 2007 study also shows evidence that at least one predator was killed by a congener. This fact does not put an end to the idea of collective hunting, but largely speaks against it.

Researchers believe that the style of hunting of ancient predators is closer to that observed in the modern Komodo monitor lizard - a much less romantic, but very effective and cruel hunter. These animals, for example, are capable of killing buffaloes ten times their size.

11 май 2020 /
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