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"DINOSAUR SOCIAL WARMTH"
Several years ago, National Geographic Magazine (Sorry the magazine is
not at hand, or I would provide the reference.) had an article which
included a really wonderful photo made by Maryland wildlife photographer
Michael L. Smith, of New Windsor, Maryland. The photo had been taken
looking down a vertical, hollowed-out log set up by the photographer during
a very cold spell, March, 1978, in Largo, Maryland, into which eleven
Eastern bluebirds had packed themselves -- about like sardines in a can --
communally conserving body warmth.
Since many researchers feel birds are avian dinosaurs, this bluebird
behavior makes me wonder whether any Mesozoic dinosaur (non-avian or avian)
skeletal clusters might have been found, anywhere, that might be interpreted
(or re-interpreted) as suggesting mass death during such a communal
conserving of body warmth.
Can anyone out there think of a dinosaur find to which such an
interpretation might seem parsimonious with all the known facts? It is
interesting to speculate about this, but, of course, we seemingly could
never know for sure whether the communal deaths were during communal
conservation of heat, partially because of the impossibility (?) of knowing
the weather at the time of death. (Yet, are there isotopic studies that
might be interpreted as revealing exceptionally lowered body temperature at
the time of death?)
However, if one is curious and willing to speculatively interpret what
is found, Mongolia or China might be a good place to start looking, because
of the superb preservation of skeletal materials often found there, etc.
The photo mentioned won an exclusive award by the Victor Hasselblad
Camera Company, of Goteborg, Sweden, for its uniqueness and beauty.