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Re: The duck that ruled the world




On Sat, 27 May 2000, Finback wrote:

>       Hmmm, my brain is running.... Interesting that emus (or rather, their
> eggs) have a wide range of small mammalian predators, from bandicoots and
> quolls, to rodents, and introduced fauna, such as dogs and pigs. But the
> male emu sits on the eggs, and is never far from it. Perhaps this is a
> model of how some of the dinosaurs defended their nests? One parent on
> sentry duty?

Brian Bertram says that the ostrich's mating system has been forged by
natural selection in response to intense nest and hatchling
predation.  The male emu may stays at its nest for
2+ months without food or water.  I believe this is a strategy for
concealment--so that its comings and goings are not observed; and that it
has also been shaped by natural selection to avoid predation.  And,
yes.  It must be considered a likely strategy for non-avian dinsoaurs,
too.