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Re: A query concerning Parasaurolophus



In a message dated 95-11-11 11:02:54 EST, ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald
Orenstein) writes:

>One way to determine this: Are there any specimens of hadrosaurines showing
>evidence that the crest containing the extended nasal passages was breached
>by injury and re-healed in life?  Presumably such a specimen would be proof
>that the animals would not have suffocated as the result of such an injury.

You mean lambeosaurines here, yes? :-)

I don't know of any specimens that show severe rehealed trauma to the nasal
passages. But the search for such specimens is by no means complete. The
bones surrounding the passages were pretty thin and delicate, and I would
imagine that the dinosaurs took really good care not to break them in
intraspecific combat or whatever. They didn't use them as battering rams, for
example!

>Actually, although it seems logical to assume that these animals could
>breathe through these passages (certainly they would have had to do so if
>these were indeed sound-producing organs), but is there any reason to assume
>that they were obliged to do so?  After all, it would not have required an
>injury to block these passages - if dinos could catch colds they might have
>had the same effect that a good case of flu does on our ability to brreathe
>nasally!  Is there any reason to assume that these animals could not breathe
>via the mouth if they had to?

Right. Of course they could! An instance of misdirection here--in focusing on
the nasal passages, I forgot about the mouth. Well, suppose someone had tied
the snout shut before hacking off the crest...

Again, not a kind thing to do to a _Parasaurolophus_.