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Re: Triceratops defence



--- Ronald Orenstein <ornstn@home.com> wrote:

> Mark Hallett (if I remember correctly)
> painted a herd of
> Triceratops attacked by two or three T-rex, with the
> herd arranged in a
> circle muskox-style, the adults protecting the
> young.  Again, a lot of
> people seem to assume that Triceratops actually did
> this - but I do not
> think there is any direct evidence for it.  Maybe
> they did - but maybe they
> didn't.

It's a cool painting.

Horner, at least, certainly criticizes this depiction
of ceratopsian behavior.  I think Hallett got the idea
from Phil Currie and Bob Bakker.  It does seem like an
awful stretch, as no other animal in the phylogenetic
bracket employs that sort of complex cooperative
defensive strategy.  

In fact, precious few mammals do it.  Giant Sperm
Whales do, apparently unsuccessfully, against Killer
Whales (we really must get back to using that entirely
appropriate name), and the musk oxen apparently do
too.  But I can't think of any other animal that
"laagers" in true 17th Century Ukrainian style against
predators.  

===
Larry

"Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans."
-- Bismarck, when asked what would be the likely cause of the next great war

http://members.tripod.com/~megalania/index.html
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