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Re: Herbivore protection
At 07:00 PM 5/28/97 -0500, bruce thompson wrote:
> Herding herbivorous mammals can travel with the herd within
>of birth. I've never seen anything to indicate that hadrosaur or
>duckbill dino chicks would have been similarly precocious. If the
>hadrosaurs were tied down to a nest during breeding season, then
>defensive strategy they used is mysterious indeed. *chuckle*...I've
>image of Maiasaura employing the kildeer defense--luring predators
>from the nest by pretending to be wounded.
This may not have been necessary. Mass breeding tends to overload the
predator capacity. The predator density is limited by the food
availability *year* *round*. They must be able to survive between prey
breeding seasons. This means there are only so many predators around to
prey on the nestlings during nesting season. As a result, the predators
are quickly satiated, and enough nestlings survive to the herding age to
maintain the population.
This method is a tried and true one, widespread in living things today. It
is used by sea turtles, grunion, sea gulls and penguins(dinosaur
descendents), many species of oak, and on and on.
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