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Re: Brooding rex? (was Feathers for T. rex)

Did I hear my name mentioned?
   Disclaimer: The responses below are the ramblings of an advocate for the 
brooding-to-flight hypothesis.
Ralph W. Miller III wrote:
<<I don't think that multi-ton animals should brood their eggs.  The eggs 
would be smashed.  (Can you believe there was actually some discussion about 
this a few years ago on our list)?!>>

Yup, I can believe all kinds of cool stuff gets mooted here. The pubic boot 
of T rex is majorly big. Quite a nice fulcrum for depositing the creature's 
mass on the ground, while leaving it's cantilevered axial skeleton free to 
balance as needed. I hope you're not suggesting T rex was clumsy. I doubt 
that. So, with all weight deposited on the boot outside the nest, leaning 
forward to place the (robin red) breast on the nest, rex could have used 
his/her approximately human-sized forelimbs to guide itself down onto an 
Oviraptor-sized (smallish) excavated nest of several dozen eggs without any 
concern about bustin' a shell. Get that nice warm heart nestled in, and 
voila! warm egglings. Oh, and once the little scamps hatch, those long, 
vaned, T rex wing feathers would be handy for keeping them covered in the 
nest and inaccessible to sneaky varanids.

Demetrios Vital wrote: 
<Chris Brochu, in a lecture at the Science Museum of Minnesota, said that T. 
rexes have very flexible shoulder joints, with a wide range of motion...  I 
believe that that includes outward extension.>

Yup, when the babies grow bigger, ya gotta reach out if ya wanna hug 'em.

Ralph also wrote:
<<Bear in mind that brooding is not the only incubation strategy possible, or 
large sauropods could not have possibly incubated their eggs!>>

Yeah BUT. The incredible nest evidence from South America places some limits 
on what you are saying. I recall seeing a titanosaurid nest description that 
went so far as to delineate the nest scrape and its fill in great detail. The 
authors concluded that the eggs were laid in scooped-out sand, with nothing 
over their tops, then buried by calm floodwaters bearing fine silt. The nest 
features were easy to see because of the different sediments. So, sorry, no 
vegetation or sand-mound covered them. 'Fraid we're stuck either saying the 
eggs didn't care if they got rained on or sunbaked, or, um, gosh, golly, 
maybe they needed mom and dad to brood them. I favor an elephantine 
kneel-down beside the nest, then roll over on one side, and voila! mom/dad's 
big warm heart right over the babies.

Ken Kinman wrote:
<<Skin impressions also argue against adult tyrannosaurs having a substantial 
covering of protofeathers.>>
So the presence of scutes/scales on large theropods rules out feathers? Why? 
Armadillos and pangolins have scutes with hair between them. You're saying 
large theropods had scales/scutes ONLY, but that's not necessarily true. 
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Jordan Mallon wrote:
<<Because we have fossil evidence (i.e., skin impressions) that prove that 
tyrannosaurids were not covered in feathery integument (see archives).>>
Be especially cautious with the word, "prove." Not long ago on this list I 
mentioned a squirrel carcass that had mummified into a leathery thing that 
completely lacked fur. Since then, I have performed an interesting mental 
exercise each time I see a dinosaur skin impression. I assume it was covered 
with fuzz that fell off or was so fine it vanished into the muck that made 
the cast. Plausible. Get a magnifying lens and look at the skin on the back 
of your hand. Between the hair follicles, the skin looks like miniature . . . 
scutes. No wait, tubercles. Sorry, I meant some non-overlapping scaly kinda 
things . . . oh, never mind.

In the sequel to my novel Dinosaur Wars, which was just released (but still 
not on Amazon yet) I go into some detail on hairy Triceratopses and wooly 
iguanodonts, so, take everything I say with a grain of salt, hokay?

Thomas P. Hopp

Author of DINOSAUR WARS, a science fiction novel published by iUniverse

Now Humans are the Endangered Species!  http://members.aol.com/dinosaurwars