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Re: Ceratopian jaws (my last bow)
From: "Van and Kathy Smith" <email@example.com>
> It seems to me that greatly elongated jaw muscles would be primarily an
> adaptation to drive the jaws over a greatly extended range.
>... Perhaps ceratopians adapted to eat or chew through very large
> things -- tree bark perhaps, or maybe they would actually chew down
> trees to get to the leaves.
Something like this has been sugggested before.
However, I am skeptical. If an animal as abundant as _Triceratops_
was biting down tree, then any forest would be converted into an
open parkland. There is little evidence for widespread parkland style
vegetation in the Lance/Hell Creek formations. On the contrary,
the leaves look more like those of a closed deciduous or semi-deciduous
[Sigh, I forgot to get my Lancian floral list together perhaps tomorrow].
[P.S. I seem to remember that "_Dryophyllum" subfalcatum_ has been
reassigned to a different genus - am I right, and what genus is it?].
> On a completely different tact, is it possible that neck muscles attached
> to these frill sites? For animals with such huge heads that were so
> obviously useful for combat,
Actually, the "combat" may have been very ritualized in most species,
taking the form more of a shoving and wrestling match. In fact the
the only ceratopsian really likely to have engaged in aggressive
combat is _Triceratops_, and it has the *closed* frill. (And even
for _T._ the argument for aggressive combat is uncertain).
The peace of God be with you.