Dinosaurs did hunt prey in packs

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY JOHN VON RADOWITZ

Ve­loci­rap­tors re­ally did be­have like wolves and hunt down their prey in packs, as de­picted in the movie Juras­sic Park, a top di­nosaur ex­pert has said.

In com­mon with other bird-like “rap­tor” dinosaurs they were highly in­tel­li­gent, ac­cord­ing to Dr Stephen Brusatte from the Uni­ver­sity of Ed­in­burgh.

Liv­ing around 73 mil­lion years ago ve­loci­rap­tors were small but vi­cious, mea­sur­ing about seven feet long and weigh­ing up to 15kg (33 pounds).

On each foot it car­ried a deadly weapon, a ra­zor­sharp sickle-like claw that may have been used to rip apart prey.

Un­like the movie ver­sion, the real ve­loci­rap­tor was at least partly cov­ered in feath­ers.

US-born Dr Brusatte said: “Many dinosaurs were much smarter than we used to give them credit for.

“Some of these meat-eaters, like the rap­tors, were prob­a­bly in the mam­mal zone of in­tel­li­gence.”

The ev­i­dence that ve­loci­rap­tors hunted like wolves comes from bone beds – dense col­lec­tions of fos­sils in one place – and pre­served foot prints, he ex­plained.

Dr Brusatte added: “There is fos­sil ev­i­dence that some preda­tors did hunt in packs.

“The ve­loci­rap­tor-type dinosaurs prob­a­bly did, and even big tyran­nosaurs too.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.