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Re: "Good Mother"- or "Mommie Dearest"-lizard????



    Good morning all,
    
        Well let's see, I have the article right in front of me 
here... It's called _Bad Mother Dinosaur_ and it was written by Don 
Lessem who was relating information presented by Terry Jones and Nick 
Geist, two zoology graduate students at Oregon SU. The basic gist is 
that it's not the legs that count when babies want to walk but the 
hips; and like birds who walk right after hatching, _Maiasaura_ had 
well developed hips. Plus there is some argument that the Egg 
Hill site even contains hatchlings and not embryos. This whole thing 
calls into question the need for extended care...which I too 
question.

        I started wondering about parental care when I found out that 
sea turtles leave the same kind of "deposits" at nesting sites as did 
_Maiasaura_ ("... so the evidence isn't beyond a shadow of a doubt, 
hmmm"). Now I personally think that this is the final nail in the 
coffin for Horner's models in the MotR. 

        However... I was just speculating as I was reading the 
article that it may have been entirelly possible that the _Maiasaura_ 
took care of their young as a collective unit. In other words, they 
lay the eggs in nests, the herd sticks around the site, the babies 
hatch, and the whole herd protects them and shows them the ropes. Not 
exactly "good mothering", but the babies'll live. Cattle do this as 
well, but not to the same degree as I'm thinking. oftentimes in a 
herd, the mothers will go off to eat and leave one cow to "babysit" 
the calves, and they alternate duty every time this is done. It's 
sorta' communal care...uh...yah...think I'll shut up now... Anyways, 
this is just a bit of SPECULATION on my part, so don't flame me if 
you don't agree.

        On a similar note, I was also thinking about the brooding 
_Oviraptor_ (or _Ovinutrix_..."egg nurse"?) and how it's the 
"strongest evidence yet" for bird-like behavior in dinosaurs. Now, I 
don't mean to be raining on anyones parade, and heaven knows I'm no 
great conservative deffender; but wouldn't that be the "strongest 
evidence yet" for bird-like behavior in _Oviraptor_ only? I mean, 
it's nice to speculate that other dinosaurs did it as well...but I 
for one wouldn't make such an all-encompasing claim until I see sites 
that show all dinosaurs brooding over nests or whatever.

"Breathe Deep, Seek Peace",
Cory Gross
Alberta Palaeontological Society
MRC Earth Sciences Society
gros4891@adc.mtroyal.ab.ca