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Re: Ceratopsian frill size (was Re: DINOSAUR digest 71)

At 06:35 PM 9/28/96 -0500, Jeff Martz wrote:

>> Btw, didn't the "duckbilled" dinosaurs have just as an impressive array of
>> teeth as the ceratopsians?  They don't seem to have had any special
>> attachments for muscles on their skulls, yet they seem to be accorded the
>> "honor" of having chewed some pretty tough plant material while they lived.
>     I've often wondered why ceratopsians, with their average sized jaws, 
>had such huge chewing muscles.  Why the killer bite?

Probably because it allowed ceratopians to tackle vegitation that even
hadrosaurs wouldn't touch.  The effect of this is to allow the
different herbivores to coexist with little competition.  I don't know
much about Late Cretaceous vegatation (I'll spell this word in as many
ways as I can, I'll be right one of these times:-), but perhaps there
were a group of woody bush-like angiosperms that were very hard to
handle.  Perhaps, the hadrosaur beak wasn't quite efficent enough to
bite off a branch, where the ceratopian scissor-beak could.

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

"No, your monkey is correct."
        -Slartibartfast; _The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy_