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

Re: anti-social Tyrannosaurs



TIM BOLLIER wrote:

>    I believe tyrannosaurs may have lived in mixed social groups and that
> they probably exercised several social strategies during their long tenure
> on earth. The environmental pressures that drive both evolution and behavior
> would probably have shifted the best survival strategies  during the
> millions of years of their existence.

Such beliefs are often difficult or impossible to prove. Large cats are
an instructive case. Tom Holtz has noted that lions and tigers are
extremely difficult to tell apart from skeletal information, yet they
live very different social lives. Lions are highly social while tigers
are very antisocial. How could we ever understand those differences from
the fossil record alone?


> The best  times tend to promote more social ties and ecological stresses
> usually break down or reduce social bonds.

Really? Do you have any examples of this?

> The other part of this question that I can't ignore is that live birth and
> parenting practices may have been driven by the size of the newborn head and
> the amount of information that can be stored. A solution to the real
> conflict between size of the birth canal and newborn head size came with
> parental care.

The size of the newborn's head has nothing to do with the amount of
instinctive behaviour which can be stored. Humans suffer from the
largest damned heads of anybody, and we have relatively little instinct.
Ravens and dolphins have modest to small heads, yet they too must spend
many years apprenticing and learning from other animals before their
behaviours are fully mature. So where's the correlation? More
intelligent animals seem to need more instruction, and therefore more
parental care, but none of this applies to dinosaurs. None of the
neonate dinosaurs we know of have heads large enough to cause problems
in the birth canal. There's also lots of different fossil dinosaur eggs,
but so far no evidence of live birth.

> The infant does not need to be born with as much instinctual
> information because by extending the time the infant spends with their
> parents as mentors the young can add these teachings to their knowledge.
> This is also a more effective way as the young learn successful strategies
> in their current environment from successfully reproducing adults. If, as a
> predator, a tyrannosaur utilized the impressive sensory potential found in
> fossils and also had
> some other behavioral complexities in social structures or mating , perhaps
> the tyrannosaur found the same strategy, probably in smaller eggs 

I had to read this six times to follow the logic. Are you saying that
Tyrannosaurs were probably really intelligent, required extensive
parental care, and therefore evolved small eggs? Whew! There's a couple
of leaps without any evidence! Tyrannosaurs had relatively small brains.
That we know. We also have some good cantidate eggs for Tyrannosaurs,
(Tarbosaurs,) from Asia. They are pretty big, perhaps the biggest of the
dinosaur eggs yet found.


> (I'm suspicious of dino live births).

Yes... so why all the discussion of live births?

>    If we only believe in the facts we can touch, then Newton, Einstein,
> Darwin,Sagan, and Dr. King were only dreamers and not visionaries. We often
> need visions by great people so we will know what we are looking for as well
> as why.

Newton, Einstein, Darwin, and Sagan were scientists, and King? Well, he
was a preacher.

William Montelone