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Re: Baryonychine Crests and Dino Beaks
Thanks for the clarification, HP Headden. Before I
completely abandon the idea, let me make 2 more
suggestions. Is it possible that the craniocervical
musculature traversed the sagittal crest over
evolutionary time and anchored to the cruciate
process/knob? I've heard of certain muscles shifting
attachment origins before, so who knows? A slighty
more plausible situation may be that dermal armor
reinforced the hide between the nuchal crest and
cruciate process....making it a cohesive unit. And
while I don't doubt that a large spinosaur *could*
lift a 300 lb. lungfish (Damn I wish I lived in the
EK...), it would still put quite a strain on the neck.
There's no doubt that more muscle would be beneficial.
In the words of Forest Gump- That's all I have to say
about that. Now for the next order of business. I've
been thinking of evolutionary pathways that could
explain the evolution of beaks (or a cornified
ramphotheca if you prefer :)). 3 possibilities I'm
entertaining: Hard/tough food forced some dinos to
develop strengthened epidermis on their snouts,
arboreal leaping birds/dinos evolved them to get at
grubs and help cut through thick foliage when jumping
(wouldn't a hair-like integument reduce the amount of
snags when negotiating through the forest canopy?), or
Troodontid-like predators hunting for primitive
fossorial mammals (by sticking their long snouts into
burrows) evolved them to protect their muzzles from
being severely bitten when probing for and
manipulating feisty critters in confined spaces.
Anybody have some other ideas?
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