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Re: [re: back to science]

> I am new to the list, and am in no way qualified to verify any of this
> data, however, in the interest of discussion, I will try to add my two
> cents.
> > in the form of a kick, stomp, or crushing blow with the head.  The eggs
> > developed quickly, like bird eggs, the baby sauropods hatching in a fairly
> > precocial state.
> With regards to the sauropods being born precocial, couldn't this be
> verified with histology of the remains of these "baby" sauropods,
> thereby telling us whether or not they were born able to travel, or
> whether they needed care for the first part of their life.

Based on extant large herbivores, It seems that being born precocial is not in 
the makeup. Most herbivore babies learn to stand in the first few 
minutes/hours. They do this to either prepare to run from danger, or to keep up 
with the group. Of course sauropods don't fit the large herbivore mold either. 
They hatch from eggs after all. Now most animals that hatch from eggs get very 
exhausted in the process. It's not uncommon for baby birds and reptiles to 
spend hours and sometimes days absorbing their yolk sacs and resting from a 
hard day of egg cracking. Baby sauropods were probably as helpless as that. 
Afterwards I see them being up and about no problem.

> > I would propose the following.  Sauropods were highly social animals,
> > living in close-knit groups.  They reproduced infrequently, and at any
> Given this scenario, what about a pride for the sauropods, with a single
> male reproducing with a herd of females?  Is there any evidence to this
> type of behaviour, and more importantly, can we identify this type of
> behaviour from the fossil record?
> Paul Franklin

I don't think sauropods were sexually dimorphic. Nor have I heard of any 
osteological way of "guessing" their sex, like we can with theropods. Still if 
we compare extant vertebrates again, we can find many animals that have herems. 
Now hold on to your hat all you "reptiles are anti-social solitary animals that 
can't stand the site of eachother" fans, but many lizard species are known to 
have one mail for every 2-3-5 and 8 females. This can be seen in Bearded 
dragons and many geckoes. Anolids I'm not too sure about. I know that they are 
highly gregarious, but I don't know how tolerant they are when it comes to more 
than one male. In fact the only lizards that I can think of that are totally 
solitary/can't stand the site of you type are 

Even if you want to only compare them to endotherms you'll still get the same 
result. Many groups are comprised of either alot of females and one male (I'm 
not counting juveniles which can be both) such as zebras or you can have all 
female such as Elephants.

Herems really aren't that uncommon.

Archosaur J

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