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Re: Little skulls...



Stanley Friesen wrote:

> I now have a new hypothesis!  Dino-cuckoos.  These dromaes were hatched
> from eggs laid in the Oviraptor nest by the female dromae, in a manner
> similar to the way a cuckoo lays its eggs in the nests of other species of
> bird.
>
> [Now: how do we distinguish this scenario from them being food ?]

We could tell they were food by two counts:
1)    If there were signs of acidic corrosion on these skulls caused by
digestion.  Alas this doesn't account for them being uneaten food
2)    Also if there were bite marks on the skulls which could have been put
there by being killed by the mother, carried by her back to the nest, or
nibbled by the youngsters.  Again a lack of bite marks does not prove they
weren't food.

Conversely, we may get a better hint of cuckoo behaviour if:
1)    it turns out that velociraptor eggs are bigger than oviraptor eggs
(instilling a maternal preference in the oviraptor mother to care for this
egg more than the others)
2)    Or if, likewise, the Velociraptor hatchlings are bigger and resemble
the Ovi chicks in some way, ie teeth develop later in dromaeosaurs and so do
reinforced hardened "beaks" in oviraptors giving a generalised appearance to
both.

Alas the evidence or lack of any of these features could not be called hard
evidence of either behaviour.
Hope that helps,
                         Samuel Barnett