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Re: Eggs and skill differentials
John Bois wrote...
> Right. Some birds rely on concealment. Others rely on remote laying.
> Some have a blend of the two. Is it appropriate to say here that because
> of their relatively large size and their relative lack of remote laying
> ability, that non-avian dinosaurs were relatively less able to employ
> these strategies. They were, therefore, more likely to defend their
> nests. I am sure that many non-avian dinosaur species were
> formidable defenders.
Compared to birds or large reptiles like crocodilians or sea turtles?
The latter lay large, conspicuous nests that suffer massive mortality, and
yet crocodilians at least (I don't know how long MODERN sea turtles have
been around) have been around for a long, long time. Crocodiles defend
both thier nests and offspring, but are not around every second. They
frequently leave the nest, at which point all kinds of small small
predators (and even cannibal crocodilians, although this is rare), come
in and wreak serious havoc. Conspicous and mediocrely defended nests and
offspring that suffer massive mortality is a successful and enduring
Possibly birds DID develop a strategy that allowed
them smaller infant mortality rates, but so what? Dinosaur and bird
reproductive strategies were not in direct competition. If enough
offspring survived to support the next generation, it makes NO DIFFERENCE
how many DIDN'T survive.