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Pachy stuff



 Ok, you guys have convinced me that it is time for a detailed experimental
 approach to pachy head/flank butting. I've experimented in the past with
 various things, which is why I find the glancing blows/no single area of
 impact arguments unconvincing but it will take a lot more for me to be happy
 with them myself and then convince others. So, I now have access to a laser,
 3-D scanner in addition to the 3-D digitizers in my lab, so I'm going
 to try and get specimens, digitize/scan them and get to work. It'll take a
 while and I may pull in Hans Sues or Weishampel to play along with me
 (or Ken if he cries enough). I think we've gone about as far as we can go
 in the discussions for the most part, although I would suggest those
 interested read the sexual dimorphism papers, along with Sues & Galton,
 Galton's original 2 papers, Wall & Galton, Maryanska & Osmolska from the
 Polish-Mongolian expeditions and Maryanska's chapter in the Dinsauria, and
 Hans' Neues Jahrbuch paper. The long term will in getting casts/specimens
 but I'll start the process now.

 I think reading those, all will be convinced that Stegoceras, at least,
 had strong sexual dimorphism that relates directly to the dome and some
 dome-related activity. Other features show the dome to be useful for ramming
 something (heads, flanks, predators, underbrush) which I would suggest to
 be intraspecific (there's also the territory angle as well). Experimental
 functional morphology combined with some phylogenetic work should get us
 a lot further along and that's what I'll try and do.

 Oh, one other thing - I used the acronym SOP - meaning standard operational
 procedure for which I apologize. It's ingrained in my head and I have to
 remember that many born outside the US of A will not be similarly ingrained
 so that caused some confusion in the discussion. Mea culpa.

 Ralph Chapman, NMNH