Ontogeny of Albertosaurus sarcophagus: Speedy adults or fast juveniles? How the development of the species affected the biomechanics and the implications for hunting strategies

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  • The focus of this study was to examine the overall speeds that can be reached by Albertosaurus sarcophagus and comparing the results of Struthio camelus to determine the likelihood of those speeds being reached. The first step of the study was to determine the allometric relations that were present in the hindlimb bones of both Albertosaurus sarcophagus and Struthio camelus. Allometry was recorded in most of the hindlimb bones present in both Albertosaurus and Ostrich. The weights of both Albertosaurus sarcophagi and Struthio camelus were determined by using methods described by Christiansen and Fari?a in 2004, and Anderson et al 1985. The weight method that was determined to provide more reliable methods was the Anderson et al 1985. The weight ranges calculated for Albertosaurus sarcophagus were 196kg to 1765kg, and for Struthio camelus was 22.6kg to 184.1kg. The over speeds that were determined for Albertosaurus sarcophagus for the adults was 33.12Km/h, the sub adult was 23.11Km/h and the juvenile was 13.50Km/h. There were two speeds used for Struthio camelus, a running speed and a trotting speed, the running speed was 37.62Km/h and the trotting speed was 24.16Km/h. The speeds obtained for Struthio camelus were close to the recorded speed, which suggests that Alexander's 1976 methods produced more reliable methods. Because of the speeds that have been calculated for Albertosaurus sarcophagus potential pack behaviour can be determined, specifically the hunting strategies. Considering the maximum speed of a ceratopsian, a major source of food for Albertosaurus sarcophagus, was approximately 25Km/h; this suggests that the sub adults and the adults would probably have the most active role in the pack for obtaining food. As Albertosaurus sarcophagus were close to the speed of the prey, if not faster than the prey; this can allow for active predation to occur. Because of these speed differences, juveniles probably had food brought to them by the parents and sub adults of the pack.

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    Research Material
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International