[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Big = Old = Advanced?

John Bois wrote:
> <snip>
> Maybe dinosaurs could let the hatchlings scurry into
> brush for hiding and then call them into the open for feeding.  Does this
> work for any creature today?  

There are so many examples of this I couldn't hope to list them all.
Foxes, hyaenas, wolves, and many den birthing species leave their
young underground while they go out foraging, calling to them to
come out when all is clear. Harp seal pups with their white fur
lie still in the snow until their mother returns. Many species of
deer, antelope and the like will leave their young in long grass
while they draw predators away, only returning when it is safe.
Tawny frogmouth chicks will sit still on a branch and not move a
muscle until their parents return. This sort of strategy seems to
work for older infants, although newly born/hatched creatures that
are defenceless at birth are probably not abandoned quite so much.
I can't see a hewly hatched Maiasaura chick being abandoned, at
least not until it has a degree of independance and is actually
able to run off into cover under its own steam. But then many
modern ground birds can do so soon after birth (chickens, ducks,
emus) and often these chicks have some sort of camoflauge, unlike
song birds which remain a conspicuous pink and are relatively
defenceless for a week or so. 
        I'm sure there were as many infant raising techniques
 amongst the dinosauria as there are in most extant 
lineages. There was probably variation even between closely
related species. Most owls nest in trees, but there is at least
one species that nests in underground burrows. Some parrots nest in
hollow trees, some in termite mounds, the flightless varieties
in New Zealand are probably ground nesters. I doubt we can generalise
on any particular sub-order, or even genus, of dinosaurs in this way.

        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia