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Re: Dinosaur Questions (last)



>From: sgivner@llwnet.ll.pbs.org (Sari Givner)

 > 
 > Did the Brontosaurus and/or Brachiosaurus have gizzard stones?

There is no direct evidence on this, but a relative of Apatosaurus
(the correct name of "Brontosaurus") known as Seismosaurus was
found in association with what looked like gizzard stones.  The
detailed evidence in this one case is fairly strongly in favor
of the animal having gizzard stones.

Given the broad similarity of all sauropod dinosaurs (like
Apatosaurus), it is likely they all had gizzard stones.
 > 
 > Why was Protoceratops classified as a ceratopsian?

The simple answer: it has the beginnings of a neck frill, a similar
beaked jaw, and a similar leg structure.  No other group of dinosaurs
has quite this combination of characters.

The complex answer is a long list of details of the skeleton which
are the same between Protoceratops and the other ceratopsians, but
are different than the details seen in other groups of dinosaurs.
[Such as the relative size and shape of certain bones, and so on].
 > 
 > Why did the Stegosaurus have plates on his back? Did they protect him, or
 > keep him cool?

The first is unlikely, as they are poorly placed as armor.

The second is possible.

There is a third possibility: the plates were for display, in
particular, they make it look bigger from the side, which makes
might it look "fiercer".
 > 
 > Did Ankylosaurus' armor help keep it cool?

This is very unlikely, as it took the form of closely placed plates.
Such an arrangement is more likely to insulate the ankylosaur rather
than help to cool it.

In this case the armor is just that, armor, to protect it from
predators.    The armor was probably very effective at this.
[It is rather like the armor of  an armadillo].
 > 
 > Can Allosaurus really swim?

It is likely that almost all dinosaurs could swim on the
"there isn't any reason that they couldn't" basis.

[About the only groups that couldn't were probably the really
heavy ones like the anklyosaurs and sauropods].
 > 
 > Does the velociraptor have different sizes of teeth?

I think so.

This can occur in two ways.

First, all theropod dinosaurs shed and replace their teeth
regularly throughout life.  The new, replacement, teeth will
be smaller than the older teeth next to them.

Also, *some* theropods have teeth of different sizes in different
places on the jaws.  This *may* be true of Velociraptor, but I
am not sure.
 > 
 > How big would a baby Diplodocus be?

Nobody knows for sure, but probably about the size of a smallish
dog (say about 3 feet or so), or at least that is my guess based
on egg sizes.
 

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.