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Re: skin decoration Vs feather decoration in predatory archosaurs



----- Original Message -----
From: <Buckaroobwana@aol.com>
To: <m38jeep@hotmail.com>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2000 5:51 PM

> Greetings,
> Would these colors apply to large predatory dinosaurs? It seems to me that
> coloration in the larger forms would be to enhance camoflage and ambush
> capabilities. I've always pictured T.rex as brown and green with a
blotched
> pattern because of its forest habitat. It seems to me that any really
bright
> color scheme would undermine this. What do the rest of you think?
>                                                     Thanks,
>                                                         Brian
"Buckaroobwana"
>
Buck
>
    I, personally, tend to agree: big animals who don't want to be seen tend
to blend in with their surroundings. This doesn't mean  that they can't be
beautiful, though; look at okapi, forest antelopes like the bongo, giraffes,
or any of the big cats. And those are mammals, whose color vision isn't the
best!
    Another train of thought: it's not only in Archhosauria that we see
juveniles with bold patterns and bright colors growing into adults who are
drab. This pattern of ontogeny is also very common in squamates: Komodos may
be dull looking as adults, but the babies are as brightly patterned as any
monitor. A hatchling kingsnake could knock your eyes out, but, even among
the brilliantly colored "tricolor milksnakes", the adults are often
described as "blackish".
    For what it's worth, I often try to draw dinos that way - brightly
colored or cryptically patterned juveniles might fade to darker,
muddier-colored adults. (I usually try to keep the overall patterns
recognizable as they "grow", though)
    B.

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