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RE: Triassic protofeathers and fake-heads



Ken Kinman wrote:

>We are talking about dinosaurs, which quickly became the 
>dominant "top end" during the Mesozoic.  In this context, increased
>brain size (allowing for increasing intelligence capability) is >relevant.


Not for sauropods or hadrosaurs.  In fact, I find it very difficult to take
this notion seriously.

>And the 
>predators of the first dinosaurs weren't dinosaurs anyway.

I don't see why _Eoraptor_ or herrerasaurids couldn't have preyed upon
juveniles of other dinosaur species - or even their own.  _Coelophysis_
apparently did - assuming the juvenile specuimen enclosed by the rib cage of
an adult represents cannibalism.

And there were fairly large-sized (6m+) carnivorous dinosaurs in the Late
Triassic: _Gojirasaurus_, _Aliwalia_, and some undescribed critters (e.g.
from South America).  They might have targeted small prosauropods and
ornithischians.

>And I would think fish intelligence 
>had a lot to do with it (they are pretty brainy compared to the vast 
>majority of invertebrates).

I think it all started when fish starting going to schools.

:-)

Tim


------------------------------------------------------------ 

Timothy J. Williams 

USDA-ARS Researcher 
Agronomy Hall 
Iowa State University 
Ames IA 50014 

Phone: 515 294 9233 
Fax:   515 294 3163