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Re: hadrosaur tails, a tail of two defences, or a hadrosaur! What a MESS!!!
On Sun, 11 May 1997, Stanley Friesen wrote:
> Even if this might work, prey species generally do not do this sort of
> thing. Given a choice they *always* run *away*. I cannot, offhand, think
> of any exceptions to this.
I think this is a good rule of thumb for today's animals. But things may
have been different in dino days. While it pays most of today's prey
species to be built for speed not defence, dinosaurs may have been
forced to defend at nesting time. If this were true, defensive
adaptations for nesting time may well have been applicable while foraging
too. In other words, nesting imperatives selected for defence over
speed. Today's plain prey animals have no such selective force and, in
general at least, opt for Stan's coward rule: it is better to run than
to fight! But I have no idea what defensive tactics may have been
employed by hadrosaurs. The question of how they got by out of breeding
season is a good one. But how they survived breeding season, with its
fixed-site baby problem, is a better one.