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RE: Seasonal "Day Care" Hypothesis for Maiasaura



On Tue, 09 Jan 2001 14:33:59  
 Ken Kinman wrote:
>     Perhaps extremely difficult to test and falsify, but perhaps not 
>impossible given enough information (eventually).  For instance, if you 
>found all the "migrating" Maiasaura were females and all (or most) Maiasaura 
>lying on top of unhatched mounds were males, that would narrow down the 
>choices significantly to my hypothesis and perhaps a few alternatives.
>     If we will be luckily enough to discover such evidence (if it exists) 
>is anybody's guess.  But given the large numbers of Maiasaura, it would 
>certainly be more likely than most other dinosaurs to reveal such behavioral 
>mysteries.  But maybe I am being overly optimistic.
>                    -------Ken

Well, there is no direct evidence that Maiasaura actually migrated, is there?  
I don't think there is any real, conclusive direct evidence that any one 
dinosaur species migrated, although it is inferred by some researchers.  
Migration may have been very likely in some species, but proving it...

Plus, you would also need a fool-proof way to determine the gender of the 
Maiasaura individuals.  This may be just as difficult as proving migration.  I 
believe that Dodson (1975) proposed a sexual dimorphic crest shape in 
lambeosaurines, arguing that males had larger and more showier crests.  
However, this wouldn't necessarily work in Maiasaura, which is a hadrosaurine.

There are large mass-death assemblages of Maiasaura, so maybe someday a 
researcher will try to isolate sexual dimorphic characteristics, much as Raath 
did with Syntarsus and Colbert attempted to do with Coelophysis.

Steve

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