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Re: *Oviraptor*

Betty Cunningham wrote:

<I take it you do may support the idea of the nesting
oviraptor having the arms in the position it was found
in because it was using some sort of dinofluff on the
arms to protect the eggs underneath it, as many modern
birds use wing feathers to protect their brood.

 The feather-protection does certainly seem to explain
the arm position---a naked arm in the same position
doesn't do much of anything besides getting

  In as much as the evidence seems to favor a
particular conclusion, I consider it fairly likely.
Hopp and Orsen, as an abstract in the latest Dinofest
symposium volume, describe the potential for
arm-bearing integument to close the space between arm
and trunk, as suggested by Norell et al. (1995), and
further recapitualted in Chiappe et al. (1999). This
seems to be a well-supported hypothesis, but testing
would need to be done to detirmine the true likelyhood
of this possibility, and is memory serves, Hopp and
Orsen are working on that; right, Tom?

  There is support in several other specimens of
dinosaurs that the "brooding posture" is no accident:
a troodontid (Russell and Dong, 1994), an
ornithomimosaur (Perez-Moreno, et al., 1994), and
several 'oviraptorid indet.' specimens (Webster, 1996;
Norell et al., 1995 and Chiappe et al., 1999; Currie
and Dong, 1996; Novacek, 1996). Check the archives,
because the data has been presented here previously,
any who are interested so we don't rehash the subject

  So, for the time being, I would not dissent to the
idea of arm-bearing integument for oviraptorids and
their use as "umbrella shades" as in ostriches.

Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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