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Re: Symbiosis, Dinosaurs and Birds

Danvarner@aol.com wrote:

>   Once again, I must apologize for perhaps being a cranky, curmudgeonly, but
> lovable, Von Sholly-type of complainer. Lord knows I try not to be! Right,
> Pete? However, about once a month, someone on this list asks a question like
> the recent query about symbiotic relationships between dinosaurs and other
> animals and suddenly we are confronted with a smarmy reply dealing with
> ornithology in some way. "Of course, dinosaurs do that because you can see
> them doing that out your window every day." If one follows that logic out to
> the bitter end this list could be taken over by the Audubon Society. Are we
> going to start talking about sexing vesper sparrows or the winter range of the
> Hooded Merganser? Are we going to get together for the annual Christmas
> Dinosaur Count (Don't even think it, Ed!). It just irritates the hell out of
> me-I'm sorry. Can't we just assume that we are talking here about non-avian
> dinosaurs and their closest relatives? Please? Dan Varner.

  Dan, I can see where you're coming from, and I agree with you that we are not 
much interested in the immature plumage of the Blue-winged Teal (or any other
waterfowl, for that matter) as much as non-avian dinosaur species. But I can 
see the logic in bringing up the bird reference, as guesswork about the social
behaviours of extinct animals would seem to depend almost entirely on comparison
to animals in the modern ecosystem, and what better groups to use than birds and
crocs? But I do agree, unless birds are specifically mentioned, I think 
dinosaurs should be understood to be the subject.
-Chris Srnka