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Re: theropod sunglasses?



Jordan Mallon wrote:
> 
>    Hi everyone,
> 
>    I'm new here, so don't bite.
>    I am rather surprised I haven't heard this before, ( has it been
> mentioned?) but I think the big hornlets above the eyes if the large
> theropods ( Allosaurus, Carnotaurus, etc...) could have been used to
> block out the Mesozoic sun.  Today's sidewinder snake has adopted
> similar protrusions above its eyes and they seem to do just fine at
> protecting the eyes from the sun.  Does anyone think this is a valid
> idea?
> 

Absolutely. I would go one step further. Cheetahs (which hunt primarily
during the day) have black markings around their eyes to help cut
down on glare. Perhaps we should see more life restorations of theropods
with obvious orbital/nasal ridges and black markings below the eyes.
Incidently it seems that humans are aware of the usefullnesss of such
markings, as used by American football players.

Orbital horns may not have always served this purpose though.
Carnotaurus had quite pronounced horns, but pathetically tiny eyes.
I'm sure that protection from other head butting/swinging theropods
and that old favourite display also played a significant role in the
development of ridges and hornlets on theropod skulls. Which is the
secondary purpose remains to be seen.
-- 
____________________________________________________
        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/4459/
        Australian Dinosaurs:
        http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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