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Re: theropod ears&tongues

At 08:46 PM 21/06/2000 -0400, Buckaroobwana@aol.com wrote:
I hope I didn't upset anyone, but my question about the appearance of dino
ears went unanswered. I am trying to determine the most accurate appearance
of the ear opening for some illustrations. Does anyone know of any good
references on this topic. Also, was the theropod tongue fixed to the flooor
of the mouth, as Greg Paul has stated, or could theropods move their tongues?
I often draw meat eating dinos with a slavering lolling tongue and I'm
curious if this is correct or not.
                                            Thanks to whoever answers,
                                                        Brian Buck

I would expect that it is not correct, purely on the basis that no bird has such a tongue. Bird tongues are highly variable in form and function, but not one has something that you could call very much like the mammalian version (perhaps a flamingo's comes closest). For example, I do not know of any bird that has intrinsic musculature that can alter the tongue's shape; extension of the bird tongue is done by movement of the hyoid apparatus. Also, in many birds the variations are in the covering epithelium, which often has a horny tip.

In fact birds that swallow their prey whole, like pelicans and some kingfishers, have a rudimentary tongue, as do ibises and spoonbills. It may be that most theropods also had quite unobtrusive tongues.

Lolling, in any case, I would guess to be quite unlikely!

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:ornstn@home.com