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Re: THROAT OSSICLES ... ???



>RE: to one of LN Jeff's postings on DINOSAUR FICTION IS MORE REAL THAN FACT.
>
>>The remounted stegosaur in the new PJ exhibit at DMNH has been given throat
>>ossicles.
>
>Yes, I have seen those throat ossicles at the AMNH, and in Mr. Paul's
>restorations.  Weren't they found recently?  Older restorations to not seem
>to give their stegos throat ossicles.
>
>Anyway, does anyone know WHY _Stegosaurus_ had these and WHAT they were for?
> How do we know that they belonged to a Stegosaur's throat?  And exactly what
>ARE throat ossicles?

The throat ossicles were first found in one of Marsh's specimens.  However,
the complete set was not found until recently.  Carpenter & Small's new
Stegosaurus was in great shape (i.e., had not rotted and fallen apart), so
we know where most of the armor goes.

When Stegosaurus would lower the neck, the ossicles would come together,
protecting a neck.  Since the neck would seem to be the most vulnerable part
of many herbivorous dinosaurs, there is good reason to armor it.

Oh, and "ossicles" means 'little bones', so the throat ossicles are small
rounded knobs of bone that were suspended in the throat.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084