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pachycephalosaurs



I think Ralph Chapman is right that there is a variety of ways for an animal
to use its head (physically) to get its point across.  However, the children's-
book image of ALL pachycephs backing up a quarter of a mile and charging each
other head-on is not realistic.  There are behavioral and morphological ranges
of this in living animals, and these should be considered.  Also, some pachy-
cephs have domes shaped like kneecaps or ridged helmets.  The full skeletons of
these animals have not yet come to light or been described (though some new
work is in the offing, and the SVP meeting will clarify some features, I think).
Finally, I offer the thought that a good tool for straightening all this out is
phylogenetic analysis, in the context of anatomical and functional studies.  The
situation is probably not simple, but eventually may not be intractable! 

Kevin Padian
Professor and Curator
UC Berkeley