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Hole-nesting question for GSP.
Dr. Paul, I very much enjoyed your piece in the new Currie, Padian
encyclopedia on dinosaur nesting behavior. But one thing struck me as
curious and I am wondering if you would comment on it. You say words to
the effect of: hole-nesting dinosaurs were the most likely to leave their
nests after oviposition.
In crocodilians the reverse is true. Hole nesters, almost
universally, defend the nest whereas some mound nesters leave. Mound
nests are more likely to be hidden (since there is likely some vegetation
around) and therefore left. In hole-nesting crocs there is often great
competition for suitable sandy-substrate-above-flood-water-level such that
nesting females make a big to do (leaving cloacal fluid territorial
markings, for eg.). And predators of lay-and-leave turtle nests seem to
have no trouble in quickly locating nesting sites.
My question is, then: Do you think there were some considerations
that would alleviate these constraints for dinosaurs?
Thanks in advance.