1. Describe the general features of theropods.
2. Describe how we know that running - cursoriality - was a key feature of theropod behavior.
3. What features of the theropod hand strongly suggest dexterity and grasping ability?
4. What kinds of evidence exist for what theropods ate?
5. Can a toothless animal be carnivorous?
6. Describe the range of skull and tooth design in theropods. How do those relate to our understanding of how theropods bit and killed?
7. What are the key clues that suggest that, as a group, theropods were carnivorous?
8. Highlight the evidence for pack-hunting by theropods.
9. Consider the design of ornithomimosaurs. Why is it difficult to explain the lifestyle of these animals?
10. We said that the most unambiguous features of a carnivorous lifestyle are seen in small-to medium-sized theropods. What features caused us to say this? Speculate on why this might be the case.
11. Theropod evolution was complex, so here is an exercise to help you better understand their relationships. Construct a single cladogram with the groups Theropoda, Coelophysoidea, Neoceratosauria, Tetanurae, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Carnosauria, Maniraptora, Eumaniraptora, and Aves on it.
■ Understand birds as theropod dinosaurs
■ Learn about the origin of flight
■ Refine our cladograms as a tool for investigating evolution k.
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