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Re: Cold or Warm Blooded



>You forgot an alternative:
>
>Were they primarily for display purposes, and little related to
>temperature?
>
>I prefer this alternative.  The form of the plates is such that
>they would tend to increase the visual size of the individual, which
>is one common form of display (for instance arching the back in
>cats).

        Yes, I agree.  As an addendum, it is possible (however unlikely)
that the vascularization of the plates -- showing that there _were_ blood
vessels running along the surface -- could have had some function to
rapidly inject or remove blood, thus effecting a sort of color change on
the plates.  Why a stegosaur would do this, I don't know, since I can't
imagine it having _too_ much of an effect either for defense or mating, but
it's possible!



Jerry D. Harris
Denver Museum of Natural History
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO  80205
(303) 370-6403
Internet:  jdharris@teal.csn.net
CompuServe:  73132,3372

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