According to Hollywood and popular dinosaur reenactment shows, herbivores such as Protoceratops and Edmontosaurus existed for the sole purpose of being hunted and eaten in an entertaining manner. This is hardly fair. I mean, who wants their legacy to be “victim of awesome T-Rex.” And it’s not like these herbivores only died by getting hunted. They died in other ways too! They died from disease and mudslides and falls of moderate distances. The methodology of dinosaur death is a topic far too varied and exciting to confine. So I shall list a few herbivores often victimized by the media and provide an alternative death sequence for each. Enjoy!
Edmontosaurus: Often called the “Cattle of the Cretaceous,” these duckbills were rather numerous. They are often depicted being torn apart by Tyrannosaurus or a group of raptors. But picture this: An elderly male Edmontosaurus has lost the safety of the herd after being injured in a fight with another male. The injury has turned septic. So far, this story is predictable. But, instead our old pal getting torn apart by ninja raptors, he simply dies of infection. That’s right, infection. It happens.
Protoceratops: Protoceratops is constantly getting owned by Velociraptor. Ever since that discovery of a Protoceratops and Velociraptor fossilized mid-fight, these two dinos are almost always together in the public’s mind. And that’s fine. I mean, Velociraptor had to eat something. But Protoceratops were killed in other ways too. Imagine a nest full of cute little Protoceratops eggs. Now picture a rainstorm. Picture that rainstorm creating a torrent of muddy water washing away all those eggs. Boom. They never even get to hatch.
|I'm not going to lie, these guys do look tasty.|
Triceratops: Okay, we can be reasonably sure that Tyrannosaurus took down a Triceratops a time or two. But Triceratops was a tough-looking tank of a dinosaur, so T-Rex would have had its tiny hands full. I mean, if I were a predator, the Triceratops would have to be pretty sick or wounded for me to risk attacking it. So here is another scenario: A juvenile Triceratops is frolicking with its herd when a scary noise is heard. The herd panics and makes a run for it…in the juvenile’s direction. The young dino tries to keep ahead but lags a bit, trips, and gets crushed to death by its family.
So there we have it, three scenarios in which herbivores died in a manner not involving predators. Now, these dead hypothetical dinos were probably later torn apart and eaten by predators and scavengers, but that doesn’t count. Of course, I still love dino hunting scenes. I’d really appreciate one where any sort of Pachycephalosaurus gets torn apart. For some reason, I don’t really like the bone-heads.