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Up A Tree With the Marginocephalia



  Okay, first I want to appologize to Dr. Holtz for
screwing with the definitions of "arboreal" and
"scansorial", but felt that at the time, and I did
consider the difference, that scansors typically
possess several adaptations that small
marginocephalians did not have (most scansors have
backwardly pointed digits, for one thing, or a
reversible foot as in squirrels, stiff tail in
woodpeckers). So I did not wish to call them
"scansorial," though I guess that may now be more
agreeable than "arboreal," the exact reference of a
lifestyle therein being explicit. Hence, my appology to
you, Dr. Holtz.

now, our fave Flying Goat wrote:

<I want to suggest that goats are less well adapted for
tree-climbing than small ceratopians (being
hoofed....not toed) and are about the same size as
Protoceratops. Goats browse regularily in trees
today.>

  Right. All creatures that take to trees, if even for
a short while, have sharply recurved claws. Either fore
or hind feet. Climbers typically have to get a better
grip and surer footing than most other terrestrials or
arials. The "dewclaws" in caprines certainly seems to
help pronghorns and mountain goats get about on rough
or steep terrain, though. Those "primitive"
marginocephalians had nearly the full complement of
toes, too.
 
<Were there any trees large enough to support a
goat/sheep-sized dinosaur in the ancient Mongolian
area?  I understood that this was semi-arid dunes.>

  Some times. The Djadohkta and Sheeregeen Gashoon, 
Khermeen Tsav, and Barun Goyot (Mong.), and the Minhe
and Iren Dabasu (Chi.) Formations were arid, and
roughly occured at much the same time period, some
higher, some lower---might pertain to a bad climate
period in Central Asia.

  This makes all "protoceratopians" except the doubted
Asia- and Turano- and the NA Lepto- desert animals.
However, rocks formations and such were not probably
alien to these localities (only the Barun Goyot appears
to have been especially arid, but that's my uncertain
knowledge) (_Complete Dino_ for the source of most of
this, _Dinosauria_ for much of the rest, Jerzykiewicz
et al. 1993 for some explicit Djadokhta et al. stuff,
and Currie and Dong, 1992, for Iren Dabasu). Trees and
large bushes have yet to be detirmined, but rocks do in
the desert, meanwhile the East Asian and NA genera
could most assuredly have trees for their liking.

===
- Greek proverb: "Knowledge is Inherent;
  Stupidity is Learned." -

Jaime A. Headden

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