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Re: back to science



Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com> writes:
> I don't know what clutch count would be typical for sauropods, but I did
> photograph a clutch of presumed sauropod eggs from Mongolia (at
Dinofest),
> and here we see three rows of 6" diameter eggs, amounting to 14 eggs in
> all.

Not to mention that theses clutches are presumably excavated from below (by
the preparators) so as to preserve the _unbroken_ undersides of the eggs
(from which the sauropod chicks have already hatched).  In other words, not
only is the nest not demonstrably bowl-shaped, but the shell hasn't been
trampled to bits as in the nests of the presumably altricial _Maiasaura_
young.  So this type of clutch is not the least bit consistent with a nest
attendance hypothesis.

Ideally, the hatchlings were both precocial _and_ fantastically
fast-growing.  Perhaps they could get around on their own, but were
protected and fed by the parents.

But, in the extreme case, if the hatchling bone is well-formed enough to
provide the strength required for prolonged vigorous activity (as in
keeping up with adult sauropod migration), then would the chick be capable
of such colossal growth over time?  Or have we come again to a place where
the dinosaurs include members which are so far removed from anything alive
that the patterns observed in the extant fauna don't apply?  Comments?

-- Ralph Miller III     gbabcock@best.com      

Happy "Be Kind To Iguanas" Week!