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DRINKER AND BURROWING



Darren Naish wrote:
<< Only one dinosaur, to my knowledge, has ever been regarded 
 as a burrower, but all I have to go on is a brief bit of blurb Bakker 
 came out with on a TV show broadcast in 1993. The crew were filming 
 in his house, and in his sink were a load of alligator legs, with a 
 hypsilophodontid tarsus and foot on the drainage board. He said, and 
 I am sure of this, that this hypsilophodontid represented the first 
 evidence for a dinosaur 'that lived in a burrow'. A little later I 
 thought he might be referring to _Drinker_, but in everything else 
 Bakker has written about _Drinker_  he maintains that it was a 
 marsh-dweller adapted for walking around on wet ground. Not the right 
 habitat to dig burrows.  >>

Indeed, it was Drinker he was reffering to.  After talking with him at SVP, I
have learned there are apparently a lot of these little beasties preserved all
together in what he thinks are burrows.  Apparently he thinks these were very
close to a marsh because there are a lot of lungfish teeth all over the place
near the burrows, but (I'd assume) below the level of the burrows, otherwise
the little Drinker would be swimming in its burrows :-)

Additionally he told me that there are no ossified tendons found in any
specimen of Drinker.  Again, he has a lot of these, so I think he may be right
about this.  Anyways, he said that without the ossified tendons the tail could
bend sharply, unlike in other ornithischians, which would be helpful in
turning around in a burrow.

Also, and quite strangely, he claimed that he thought that most dinosaurs,
even ones as big as Camptosaurus could burrow.  I myself don't doubt that
smaller dinosaurs like Drinker or Heterodontosaurus could burrow, but
Camptosaurus is pushing it...  I am a little skeptical of the burrow taphonomy
with the Drinker burrows, seeing as from how he described them, they should
have been muddy pits submerged in about 2 metres of water, but I guess he also
said they up on the beach rather than deep in the swamp...  As for
Camptosaurus, he claimed, that like bears, they could burrow into small
'caves' in the slope of a hill, rather than digging holes in the ground.

Peter Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com

Yeahhhh, I want cheesy poofs