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Re: Herbivore protection




On Wed, 28 May 1997, bruce thompson wrote:
>         Herding herbivorous mammals can travel with the herd within hours
> of birth.  I've never seen anything to indicate that hadrosaur or other
> duckbill dino chicks would have been similarly precocious.  If the
> hadrosaurs were tied down to a nest during breeding season, then whatever
> defensive strategy they used is mysterious indeed.  *chuckle*...I've got an
> image of Maiasaura employing the kildeer defense--luring predators away
> from the nest by pretending to be wounded.

I'm not sure, but aren't these behaviors usually associated with stealthy
nests.  They are performed, I think, to distract a predator from its
search.  Near an easily observable maiasaur nest a predator would, barring
other impediments, walk in and help itself to the easy pickens.  But I do
like the image and I believe any and all bird behaviors ought be entered
in for consideration.  In a discussion on sci.bio.ethology an alternate
hypothesis to active nest defence was predator satiation (or is it
swamping). I argued that in birds, long incubation times would provide
plenty of time for predator appetites to be recharged.  This would be
especially true for hadrosaurs which required what, six
weeks of incubation?