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Giant mammal hair (was Re: DOWNY STEGOSAURS)
At 09:04 AM 10/14/98 -0400, Ronald I. Orenstein wrote:
>>2. Does a heavy coat better protect a rhino from marauding hyenas and
>>lions, or does a thick, armor-like hide? (And when the hide is that
>>thick, does hair then become redundant or useless?)
>Remember that sheer size protects adult rhinos, probably better than their
Let's also remember that recently extinct members of at least two large
mammal lineages, elephantids and rhinoceratids, were pretty darn hairy:
_Mammuthus_ and _Coelodonta_, respectively. And, lest we think that hairy
multi-tonne mammals are strictly mammoth-steppe inhabitants, there are also
the tropical giant ground sloths to consider.
Out knowledge of the distribution of hairiness vs. hairlessness in
large-bodied mammals is sorely hindered by the fact we are looking at a VERY
recently depauperate fauna.
(Or, in short, damned if I know what's going on... ;-)
Finally, a new stupid dinosaur joke:
How do you get down off a stegosaur?
Hey, you figured out how to get up on one, YOU figure out a way to get down...
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:email@example.com
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661