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Re: Protohadros's diet and hadrosaurs generally



Larry Dunn informs us:

>Jason Head suggests that Protohadros byrdi, the newly described,
>earliest definitive hadrosaurid, might have eaten aquatic vegetation
>(SVP, 18(4): 718, 734).


Then Larry asks:

>Is this a primitive feature of hadrosaurids?  Are there other
>Hadrosaurids thought to have eaten aquatic plants?  Was Protohadros
>unique in this?

    While I'm not sure of the current trend of opinion as to whether other
Hadrosaurs ate aquatic vegetation, there an illustration in which I have for
years delighted,  in a book first published in 1972 by Rand McNally and Co.
It is entitled, Album of Dinosaurs, written by Tom McGowen, and illustrated
by Rod Ruth.

    The illustration, full-page and in color, showns a 2/3rds-underwater
(1/3rd above water) view of a nearby, under-water swimming Anatosaurus about
to engorge a substantial section of an aguatic plant , while one distant
Anatosaurus just enjoys a swim and another watches attentively from a
cattail-infested bank.

    In the front materials, we are told that the illustrations were prepared
under the direction of Dr. Rainer Zangerl, Chairman, Department of Geology,
Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.

    Likewise we are told that the text (which describes Anatosaurus as
probably eating rushes or cattails and, "...juicy water plants") was
"reviewed and authenticated" by Dr. Dale Russell, then Chief of the
Paoleontology Division, National Museum of Natural Sciences, Ottawa,
Ontario, Canada.

    Well, that's hardly a reference from a scientific journal, but I mainly
thought some of you might enjoy having a look back at what, to me, is an
appealing illustration -- although I can hardly say the same about many of
those in the book.

    I wonder what Dale Russell would think now about Anatosaurus' diet.

    Ray Stanford