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Re: Deciduous horn?



Martin Jehle writes:

>I cannot imagine that any animal sheds the bony part of a horn. This 
>would not be possible without damage to the skull (please correct me 
>if such an example is known). So there must be another explanation 
>for the variation in ceratopsian horns.

I forget the reference, but recently a researcher conducted an analysis of all 
_Triceratops_ specimens found in the state of Wyoming (each specimin was givin 
it's own species name).  The researcher found that the "differences" in horn 
shape is well within the variation found in modern horned animals (so all 
Wyoming T-tops specimens belong to the same species).  For modern horned 
mammals, there are always subtle differences in the horn's shape.  In a way, 
horns can be thought of as fingerprints, as no two are exactly alike.

>By the way - could anybody tell me what a pronghorn is ?

Greenhorn! :^)  It's the antelope that lives in the Western part of the U.S.  
It is the fastest animal in the Americas, and the second fastest animal in the 
world (next to the cheetah).



Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

***
When the going gets wierd, the wierd turn pro.