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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 
>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.
>

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.

--------------
May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com
                                          sfriesen@netlock.com