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Re: Frills, Muscles, Signaling add up to a warm feeling ?
Good day to you all,
Just a thought, whilst I was studying the frill of the Natural History
Museums (London) Triceratops specimen, I looked closely at the series of
intricate canals that run over (and possibly through) the frill of Triceratops.
I know everyone has been shouting for so long that this feature of the
ceratopsians as a defensive shield, muscle attachment area, an
intraspecific signaling device of maturity, etc. I must say after
looking closely at the frill that these canals are remarkably similar
to those found on the huge plates of _Stegosaurus stenops_. If a can
take my opinion a little further, does it seem wise to have a
defensive shield 'laced' with a vascular network ! The use of the
frill as a thermoregulatory device is one whichmay be accepted,
as it seems hard to ignore the evidence, especially as so much
has been made of similar evidence with Stegosaurus plates.
It is may be that the frill initially evolved as a muscle attachment
sight for the jaw muscles and that its second 'evolutionary bonus'
was that of a signaling device. The supply of oxygen-rich blood to the jaw
muscles may have had a third effect) of producing a highly vacularised
area of the frill (initially underneeth), the evolutionary step for
the vascualr system to extend onto the upper surface of the frill is not
that great a leap, as neither is the possible function of
thermoregulation by this area (evolutionary 'jackpot'!).
It would be interesting for someone to look at the relationship
between body and frill size, and any possible trends in the fossil
I conclude that the frill would certainly have been an impressive, if
not dertering, structure of the ceratopsian head. However the form
and function of the frill may not have been so simple as previously
thought, with it adding a possble different line of thought to the
'giganto/ecto/endotherm' debate !
I must now return to my thoughts again to dinosaur tracks!!!!!!