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Re: Dr. Bakker and Dinosaur intellegence (was: Fwd: Bakkermania!)

>Many of the extant animals in their phylogenetic bracket (birds, 
>crocodylians) are certainly social to a greater or lesser extent but do 
>not exhibit the sophisticated cooperative behavior alleged by the 
>dancing dinosaur advocates.

May I ask what kind of behaviors?  Look at Opisthocomus ( hoatzin ) it 
forms tight social aggregations of 2 to 8 individuals.  All migratory 
birds display behaviors in migration ( like flying for a whole day and 
remembering the whole route somehow ) that are complex.  Robins feed 
their young and stay bonded to them.  Megapodes create a large nest 
cooperatively and the males use their beaks as thermometers that are 
extremely precise.  Most birds with altricial or semi-altricial young 
regurgitate food to their young.  The list goes on and on.  All of these 
are just as complex or more complex inborn instincts and behaviors than 
all of the postulated non-avian dinosaurian behaviors. These have little 
to do with intelligence, but rather with instinct.  When a goose bonds 
to a human when it sees the person when the goose is born, is that 
learned behavior or instinct?  ( Anyone hear the hilarious stories of 
hawks bonded to humans?)  

What sort of dinosaurian behaviors?  Guarding a nest?  Feeding altricial 
young?  Tight social bonds?  Since non-avian dinosaurs held more niches 
than crocidilians, I find no trouble with the idea that they were 
capable of complex behaviors of birds.

Matt Troutman

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