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I went to the Natural History Museum in London today. I saw the dinosaur exhibition, and in the exhibition was this image, of an Allosaurus attacking a Diplodocus:

Allosaurus attacking Diplodocus

Image by John Sibbick

This scenario seems unlikely to me. It feels a bit like a lion attacking an elephant - the size is a natural defence. Elephants have no natural predators.

Did large herbivorous dinosaurs have any predators?

  • Accidentally posted this before I'd finished writing it, apologies. – Dave Hillier Oct 13 '12 at 20:47
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    This is not completely accurate. We ALL have predators. Some of those predators are smaller than us. Microbes, parasites. – user3344 Oct 14 '12 at 1:09
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    While a full-grown elephant may not have any predators, lions do kill very young elephants as well as sick and old ones. The same is probably true for dinosaurs. – hdhondt Oct 14 '12 at 23:35
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    @Stefan - I KNOW what the implication is. However, not all predators are larger than their prey. A pack of wolves can kill and devour a moose. A school of piranha are predators too, as are a swarm of army ants on the move, as is arguably a fatal viral infection. – user3344 Oct 15 '12 at 0:18
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    @woodchips What is commonly understood as predators does not include viruses and bacteria. And if we reduce predators to things that kill other things(intentionally or unintentionally) everything is a predator making the definition pointless. – Stefan Oct 15 '12 at 15:15
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According to Wikipedia

There is dramatic evidence for allosaur attacks on Stegosaurus, including an Allosaurus tail vertebra with a partially healed puncture wound that fits a Stegosaurus tail spike, and a Stegosaurus neck plate with a U-shaped wound that correlates well with an Allosaurus snout.[86]

Citation #86 is

Carpenter, Kenneth; Sanders, Frank; McWhinney, Lorrie A.; and Wood, Lowell (2005). "Evidence for predator-prey relationships: Examples for Allosaurus and Stegosaurus". In Carpenter, Kenneth (ed.). The Carnivorous Dinosaurs. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 325–350. ISBN 978-0-253-34539-4.


The Black Hills Institute appear to be selling a Camarasaurus sp. Tibia with Bite Marks - Fossil Replica of which they say

Camarasaurus was a long-necked (sauropodmorph) dinosaur that lived during the Jurassic age. Camarasaurus reached lengths of 60 feet (18 m) and weighed up to 18 tons (16 tonnes)! One end of this ‘teething bone’ has been completely removed by predation, probably a feeding or teething Allosaurus.

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