Predatory lives

The evolution of predatory adaptations in vertebrates reached an awesome yet elegant apex in the anatomy and behavior of carnivorous dinosaurs. One should not dwell too long on the fate of the dinosaurs that fell prey to these creatures, however, because the prey animals also extended the size, specializations, and population numbers of their kind to similarly impressive levels. The existence of large predators such as Allosaurus and the later tyrannosaurs, spinosaurs, and carcharodontosaurs is evidence that prey animals such as iguanodonts, hadrosaurs, sauropods, and horned dinosaurs existed in great numbers and so successfully occupied their respective niches in the world of browsing vegetarians that predatory dinosaurs had to adapt highly specialized weapons and techniques to hunt them down.

The predatory lifestyle of theropods is reflected in many aspects of their anatomy. Clues in the bones of theropods allow paleontologists to reflect on the likely behaviors and lifestyles of these animals as living organisms.

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