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Re: ceratopsian frills



>Could ceratopsian frills have had any defensive value against insects,  which
>tend to cluster around the hind ends of large animals but can do extensive
>harm to ears and eyes if they can fly or crawl there to lay eggs?

I don't think that would work - the eyes and ear openings are just as
exposed in a ceratopsian as they are in other dinosaurs.  The frill is
formed from the back of the skull, and thus isn't particularly associated
with either the eyes or ears.

The frill is properly placed for jaw muscle attachment, and would make a
great display surface (two ideas previously mentioned).  I think it a fair
statement that both these purposes may be behind the origin of the
neoceratopsian frill.

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.