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Toby White wrote....
> I understand that the traditional functional explanation of the
> cassowary casque is as a "helmet" for rapid movement in forested
> areas. Beyond this and display, are there any other functional aspects
> to the casque in hornbills, cassowaries, or oviraptors for that matter?
Never having seen cassowaries in the wild, I don't know how accurate
the old chesnut about them using their crests as 'foliage deflectors'
really is. They are known to occasionally use their crests as tools,
turning over leaf litter and soil - we have covered this on the list
before. Hornbill crests may act as resonating devices that amplify their
calls - this was argued for in a paper from the early 90's (_J. Zool._)
but I don't know if it's ever been tested.
I can't see oviraptorids using their crests as digging tools, but perhaps
an acoustic function cannot be excluded. Oviraptorosaurs convergent
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