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Re: DINOSAUR digest 71



LN Jeff wrote:

>    All the same, the sometime massive horns and hornlets that adorn 
>ceratopsian frills imply they were being used for something more than 
>provind muscle attachment sites, even if that was the original funtion.
 
and DARREN NAISH wrote:

>If the ceratopian frill did serve a thermoregulatory function, and
>perhaps it did, I find it very hard to see that it's design owes
>itself to that end: to apply an Occamist viewpoint, surely it is far
>more likely that the morphology is a product of functional mechanics
>(with the display potential important too?). That can't be denied: the
>question may be, are the two functions exclusive - and indeed they
>probably are not (cf. foxes with big ears - both thermoregulatory and
>acoustic functions). So I would doubt if Barrick, or anyone else
>proposing a thermoregulatory function for the frill, would argue that
>the structure was only for that function. Incidentally, apparently
 
I asked a long time ago whether frill size could be correlated to
major predator jaw gape, and the reply was along the lines of
"unlikely, as other small-frilled ceratopsians were
co-existant". However, I don't think the reply took into account:
 
1) different predators for different prey species
2) different environments   "" "" "" 
3) different behaviour    "" "" "", particularly when faced with predators

The other point I want to make about frill size/heat radiation is: why would 
ceratopsians have different sized frills (assuming they did live concurrently) 
if:

1) they inhabit similar environments (did they?)
2) are similar-sized 
3) have similar basic metabolisms?

Surely if 2 & 3 are true 1 is not?
 
martin