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Re: again: frill of Triceratops



At 11:33 AM 9/17/96 -0500, Martin Westmeier wrote:

>I was a bit disappointed because nobody gave an answer to my 
>question about the frill of Triceratops. So here's a little bit 
>information about the background of my question: Catherine A. Forster wrote 
>in her recent article about the skull of Triceratops (JVP 16(2), June 
>1996; pp 246-258), that the frill was heavily vascularized. Couldn't 
>this lead to the presumption, that the frill had a function in 
>Thermoregulation? Does anybody know, if this function was suggested 
>before? (I think it must have!) Is anybody out there who can give me 
>further information (Refs)?

        Often, too often in my oppinion, vascularization of "accessory"
structures is interpreted as evidence for the structure being a
thermoregulator.  While I can see where most of these structures (I am
thinking of the plates of Stegosaurus in particular.  FYI:  The article of
them in Dinosaur Discoveries was keen) must have had an effect on the
animal's body temperature, this does not have to be it's primary function.
My legs, for example, have a profound effect on my own thermoregulation,
I've noticed.  Depending on how much leg I leave uncovered at night, I can
usually achieve a nice temperature under the covers.  One I would favor is
blood support for a keratin sheath.  Since Triceratops in particular had
marginal hornlets, perhaps the entire frill was covered in horn.  Or maybe
all of the vascularization was there to support the frill.
        Wagner
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