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Re: Cursorial adaptations (was T.rex and elephants)
Chris Campell writes;
>Looking at the orientation of the frills, though, I think they'd be more
>effective at absorbing heat than radiating it. Something like Stegosaur
>plates would be ideal for dumping heat, but a frill? I suppose it might
>be useful if the animal stuck to heavily shaded areas, but this strikes
>me as a secondary or tertiary function at best.
I agree that any heat-absorbing use would be of minimal importance, there just
isn't enough surface area in the frills. If they were designed like a
_Dimetrodon_ sail (for heat absorbtion), or an elephant ear (for heat
radiation), then we could argue for a thermoregulatory use of the frill.
The main function of the frill still seems to be as an anchor site for the jaw
muscles. The second would be for species recognition and/or bluff displays.
Of course, _Triceratops_ remains an enigma. A large ceratopian with a solid
frill, with blood vessel marks along the outside edge. Perhaps this genus did
use the frill for heat regulation, after all.
"Keep your stick on the ice."