Main Raptor Attack Discussion

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08:28:00 AM Sep 24th 2011
Okay, this whole thing is getting way out of hand. First of all, as for Troodon hunting large prey; Well, a new study that was just published about a week ago describes a new species of troodontid, named Talos sampsoni. And the authors of that study remarked about the sickle-claw being injured. It was literally torn in half, in fact! Now, it could not possibly have hit it on the ground, because the sickle-claws were always retracted, up above the ground. Thus, it must have been injured, by a struggling prey animal. And, do you think that a tiny lizard or mammal could possibly have broken its sickle-claw, in half? Why, of course, not! That is just plain preposterous! So, it had to have been a relatively large prey animal, such as a Hadrosaur. Now, Talos was less than half the size of Troodon, and we actually have fossil evidence that it could hunt large prey. Thus, logic dictates that Troodon, which was more than twice as big, could also hunt larger prey.

Now, the thing is, there is also fossil evidence that Troodons hunted in packs. At a site called Egg Mountain at the Two Medicine Formation near Choteau, Montana, several Troodon skeletons were found together, right next to the skeleton of a much—larger Maiasaura. It is obvious that this pack of 15 Troodons hunted together, in order to bring down the larger herbivorous dinosaur.

Now, as for the supposed intelligence: As I stated earlier, modern-day Crocodilians and Monitor Lizards are extremely intelligent, and they are much more than capable of solving complex mathematical problems. According to several studies, Komodo Dragons can even count to 10, in their minds! Thus, even if their brains were not as proportionally large as is often claimed, they were still much, much larger relative to body size than those of living reptiles. And, living reptiles are certainly NOT push-overs, when it comes to their intelligence, and their cognitive abilities. Now, as for the parrot thing: Well, it's my fault. I worded that wrong. The book I have actually says that Troodon's brain was as large, relative to its body size, as that of a parrot. Again, I'm sorry for that little misunderstanding that occurred, between us.

So, what do you think?
08:50:29 AM Sep 24th 2011
edited by albertonykus
The claw in Talos wasn't "broken in half". It was the toe itself that was injured, not the claw. In any case, it could have resulted from any number of things. Misaimed kick to the ground? Defense? If broken by prey, the prey doesn't have to be the size of a hadrosaur. Probably something like a smaller ornithopod could have injured the toe as well. The injury only shows that deinonychosaurs used their killing claws as weapons, it says nothing about attacking huge prey, and the authors claim no such thing.

I have not heard about the group of Troodon preserved with Maiasaura. Source please. Not to mention that even the (more famous and numerous) Deinonychus-Tenontosaurus sites are equivocal, so such a conclusion is not necessarily watertight.

Regardless of exactly how "intelligent" deinonychosaurs were (which isn't entirely measurable to begin with), I do not know of any studies showing that they could have been as intelligent as the most intelligent birds today (and this wouldn't be the first time a general audience dinosaur book made up or exaggerated such factoids). I do not see anything equivocal in the current wording of the article. As far as I know, no professionals would disagree with the notion that the most intelligent living birds are more intelligent than deinonychosaurs were. The point about dinosauroids still stands as well.
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