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Re: Oviraptora

In a message dated 95-12-21 19:12:50 EST, ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald
Orenstein) writes:

>>>Surely this is also the best direct evidence that at least this dinosaur
>>>could control its body temperature?  If you can't do that there's not much
>>>point in brooding - even if the idea is to provide shade, as otherwise the
>>>brooder would overheat.  This doesn't need to mean out and out homeothermy
>>>even pythons can raise their temperature while brooding by muscular
>>>contractions - but it is surely highly suggestive.
>>This find isn't even evidence against an egg-stealing lifestyle for
>>_Oviraptor_. It could certainly have still been an egg-stealer--just,
>>perhaps, not the particular kinds of eggs it was found in proximity with.
>This is a bit of a non sequitur; lots of birds steal other birds' eggs, too.
>I never suggested Oviraptor didn't.  But a colour photo of this fossil was
>published in the Toronto Star today (that doesn't happen too often) and all
>I can say is, if this animal wasn't in a brooding posture I would love to
>know what the blazes it was doing.  It is a truly amazing specimen.

Boy, I'll say it's a non sequitur! The specimen got me to thinking about why
Osborn originally gave it the name _Oviraptor_ and how the type individual
that Osborn described was supposed to have been caught in the act of stealing
the eggs of _Protoceratops_, etc., etc., and how this new specimen supposedly
knocked that theory down. Well, one thing led to another, and before you know
it I had sent off that comment.

The Buffalo News published a photo of the specimen (with forefoot incorrectly
labeled as the hind foot, of course), but I can't make out whether any of the
eggs are broken open to reveal embryonic material within (doesn't look like
it). Can't wait to see the _Nature_, which will be in my mailbox next week.