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Ceratopsian frills (re-post)



Mickey Rowe asked me to re-post this message, as my ISP changed its name and
the list didn't recognize me.  

------------------------
Subject: Re: what's the current thinking on ceratopsian frills?
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu

At 10:50 PM 3/12/97 -0500, Bruce Thompson (brucet@mindspring.com) wrote:

>        To wit, what were they (ceratopian frills) for?  Growing up during
the >"great fossillizard" era, I read that they were protective in nature,
to guard >against tyrannosaurs chomping their necks.  I don't hear that
theory much >anymore, so I assume it's fallen out of favor.
[snip]
>Another theory that seemed very plausible to me was offered by the
>science writer and illustrator John C. McLoughlin in his book
>"Archosauria".  He argued that the frills were there to anchor, not the jaw
>muscles, but the neck muscles.  

This suggestion was advanced by a number of workers back in the '70s, but I
myself would no longer support my own restoration of that period, at least
not to the extent that the neck musculature subsumed the frill into the
body's dorsal line.  Certainly, massive muscles were required to support and
move the huge ceratopian head, but the frills seem to have been much more
than was
required for mere anchorage for such muscles.  

John C. McLoughlin