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Re: nesting strategies

John Bois wrote:
> I think there is general agreement that dinosaurs could not burrow.

        Penguins, sheer waters ("mutton birds"), puffins, even a 
species of owl nest in burrows. Although some may not be able
to physically burrow, they can take advantage of abandoned burrows
of other species, or use natural hollows. Given the preservational
bias against small dinosaur species (a general statement, I know.
The reverse is true of Dinosaur Cove in Australia), there may well
have been small species that had fore or hind limb structures suited
to digging.

> > Harp seal pups with their white fur
> > lie still in the snow until their mother returns.
> Probably not an option for dinosaurs since 1. Hatchlings were
> unlikely to accumulate sufficient fat reserves for insulation, i.e.,
> there is more time to do this inside a uterus, and 2. Seal
> mothers utilize swimming ability to reach such inhospitable places.  This
> is a skill differential of a magnitude that one dinosaur prey is unlikely
> to have over its predator. I don't know of any fossilized swimming
> structures, such as flippers.  Though _some_ swimming ability was almost
> certain.

        I wouldn't suggest there were white dinosaurs that found
camoflauge in the snow. Rather I was just giving an example of
an extant creature that leaves its well camoflauged young by
itself while it goes off to forage, or draws predators away.
        Any discussion of dinosaur behaviour will only be based
on indirect and ambiguous evidence. Bones, footprints and nests
are not behaviour. This leaves the scope for arguements and
theories wide open, most of which are probably going to be about
things we could never hope to test anyway.


        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia