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Re: Some data (was Re: Herbivore protection)
Thomas Holtz queries, "Whoever claimed that [disproportionately low fossil
representation of T.'s to Hadrosaurs]?"
Actually, I don't remember. When the original thread began, there was
discussion regarding the need for H.'s to have had some means of defence
other than herding/breeding/whatever traditional grazing herbivores do in
extant species, based upon some expectation that T.'s would have consumed
them to extinction due to T.'s superior speed and relative size advantage (as
a predator). At that point in time, a discussion ensued regarding H'.s
utilizing their tails to literally whip the T.'s in line, so to speak,
because, apparently, someone felt the fossil record showed too low a
representation of T.'s, who should have flourished with such an abundant and
easy meal source. At that juncture, I felt compelled to point out that IF
such a disparity in T.'s predatory skills over H.'s survival skills truly
existed, and since H.'s seemed to have done ok per the actual fossil record,
there MAY have been other alternative means of defence, which might not
fossilize well, or even other behaviour patterns in the T.'s themselves
(which also do not fossilize well) to explain the fact that the T.'s did not
wipe out the H.'s.
Of course, I was also foolish enough to mention a few such defences and
behaviours in extant species today which would not have fossilized. I'm a
sucker for an example, myself.
Anyway... thank you for the professional correction; we needed it.
As for dinosaur behavioural speculations which can't be proven through fossil
records... I surrender! I never was proposing such behaviours or abilities,
just trying to point out that not all answers lie in the fossil record.
Now, back to my time machine, and growing proto-feathers on the leading edges
of my forearms.....
Wayne A. Bottlick.