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Maiasaura and Stop asking



Thanks everyone who told me the ref for the Maiasaur paper I asked about a 
couple of days ago.  I went and got it at the library today.  I still don't 
understand.  In the paper the authors make some valid points: most archosaurs 
are precocial (able to walk about) when they're born, most altricial (not 
able to walk about) young are able to walk in a matter of weeks, and ossified
hips in embrionic Maiasaurs seem to show that they were indeed precocial 
rather than altricial as Horner suggested.  The authors also claim that 
Orodromeus was precocial (which I agree with), but say that Horner claimed 
otherwise.  I don't recall ever reading anything about Horner saying 
Orodromeus young were altricial, in fact all I read was opposed to altricial 
Orodromeus.  Another thing that seems to bother me about the paper is that at 
the end, because dinosaurian young were precocial, their nesting behavior is 
most similar to crocodilians, and thus their phisiology was too.  Where did 
that come from?  How did they make that jump?  I understand that crocodiles 
have very complex nesting behaviors, but there are very many precocial bird 
species who have complex nesting behavior and care for their young.  Why were 
dinosaurs most similar to crocodilians?

[ Did you notice that the latter point was addressed in the letters to
  the editor a couple of issues after that paper came out? -- MR ]

Also, stop asking me what dromeosaur stuff is, I told you I'm not going to 
tell until the paper's written (not by me).

Peter Buchholz
gpb6845@msu.oscs.montana.edu

How do you shoot the devil in th back?  What if you miss?