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CRANIAL CREST AS TOOL



Dann Pigdon wrote..

>       Here's another interesting cassowary fact. It was thought
> for a long time that the bony crest on their heads acted like a
> crash helmet for running through dense vegetation, but apparently
> the crest is quite fragile and often breaks (only to regrow).

If this is true it's news to me: most sources state how strong the 
cassowary crest is. It's also interesting that the crest serves as a 
tool: the Perrins and Middleton bird encyclopedia includes an 
observation of a cassowary using its crest to overturn soil when 
searching for food!

It would not be realistic to apply _this_ function to crested 
non-avian dinosaurs, seeing as they generally have forelimbs for the 
job (especially crested theropods). Recalls somewhat the 
recent suggestion that _Parasaurolophus_ dug stuff up with its crest 
though;-)

"You gotta put your behind in your past"
"No no no - sit down before you hurt yourself"

DARREN 'My office smells of decomposing turkey' NAISH
darren.naish@port.ac.uk