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Re: Hadrosaur defence tactics

Thomas Holtz, Jr. writes: 

>You are forgetting one of the most common defense systems in Nature: the
>Buddy System (as in, when the shark comes, throw your buddy at him!).  Not
>all prey items defend themselves per say, but reproduce in such numbers that
>a reasonable amount of the population is likely to survive to breed.

Murphy's Military Law #17:  The best thing about the buddy system is that is
gives the enemy someone else to shoot at.  

>(Also, with the enlarged nasal regions in all euhadrosaurs, they probably
>had a better chance of smelling a tyrannosaurid coming some ways off).

In addition, is there not the possibility that the nasal crests could serve
as sound producing organs and therefore vocalization?  If they could
vocalize, couldn't this be used as a sort of early warning system for other
hadrosaurs in the area?  Perhaps this could have been one component of their
defense strategy?  I should think so for all of the above. 

It has been pointed out to me that such as the above is untestable with the
fossil record and is therefore speculation.  However, it is also pointed out
that air forced through a model of a hadrosaur crest produces such
low-frequency sounds as are common in many animal groups, including
crocodiles and birds (*ref below).  I'm personally curious as to where the
research is going to go with this.  

If they could vocalize, I'd love to hear their calls and/or songs.  I don't
suppose anyone has a field recording of a a Corythosaurus song? <g> 

*Assertions based partly on info in Norell, Gaffney, Dingus:  Discovering
Dinosaurs in the AMNH; Alfred A. Knopf: 1995,  p. 35.  This is not meant as
an advertisement, just a reference. :-) 

Robert T. Hill          /^\__/^\_________/^\--------/^\_________/^\__/^\
rhill@amnh.org         | = || = |= = = =| = | ==== | = |= = = =| = || = | 
Dinosaur Explainer with the|| = |= = = =| = |______| = |= = = =| = || = | 
American Museum of Natural History = = =| =/  AMNH  \= |= = = =| = || = |
New York, New York     | = || = |= = = =|/  New York \ |= = = =| = || = |

Watch for the opening of the AMNH Web Page at http://www.amnh.org this 
coming Fall. 

*** All opinions are those of the individual, not the institution. ***