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Re: DINOSAUR PARENTING (fairly long)



>Concerning the brooding oviraptors, it has been suggested that they were
>merely shading the eggs, rather than incubating them via high body
>temperatures. Birds certainly do shield their eggs from high temperatures,
>but I do not know of any bird that does not also incubate their exposed eggs
>(if anyone has an example please let me know). The only logical reason to
>have the eggs exposed is so that they can be warmed by the parent's body.
>Otherwise, it is best to bury the eggs so that sun heated soil or fermenting
>vegetaton can keep them nice and toasty.

I find Greg Paul's analysis compelling, and I would add that the controlling
factor could have been climate or weather rather than physiology or
phylogeny.  For example - in a desert area certainly the chief problem
during the day is keeping the eggs cool - the ultimate example in birds may
be the sandgrouse (Pteroclididae) that actually wet the eggs with water
carried in specially-modified breast feathers.  But as such areas are
subject to drastic diurnal temperature fluctuations it may well  be
necessary to warm them at night (I'm not at home so I cannot check my
references to see what sandgrouse do).  Therefore if Oviraptor waas a desert
species, whether it was shading the eggs or brooding them may come down to
whether it died during the day or at night - and I don't see how anyone
could determine this!
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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