Predator-Prey Ratios

Figure 22: Velociraptor attacking its prey (Protoceratops).

Living endotherms need to consume more energy than do comparable-sized ectotherms. The predator-prey ratio is the body mass of predators to their potential prey and should differ for endotherms and ectotherms. Endothermic predator prey ratios should be lower (less predator than prey) than the ratio for ectotherms. A survey of dinosaur fossils shows that predatory dinosaurs are relatively rare. We cannot however be sure that the collection actually represents the predator-prey relationship at that time. This method is not really a good way to determine the presence of endothermy in dinosaurs.