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RE: Pachyrhinosaur nasal horn?
It is possible that the normal food sources (vegetation and/or earth)
for most centrosaurines contained sufficiently high amounts of calcium.
Whereas, those with keratin horns normally lived in areas that didn't
have as much calcium in their environment and food. In order to keep up
with their relatives who were sporting all sorts of horns and spikes,
keratinous horns and spikes were grown.
This assumes that there was some sort of intersection of the two types
Also, I am assuming that keratin contains less calcium than bone (and
that it is more efficient to grow than bone).
Of course, this still doesn't answer why _Triceratops_ (and supposedly
_Avaceratops_ as well), has a solid frill, versus all the others with
massive holes in the frills (_Chasmosaurus_, _Torosaurus_, etc., etc.).
Two things that we do not have clear evidence for:
1) What was the normal environment for each of these animals - not
just the few environment that we find their remains in?
2) What normal parasites, bacteria, etc. may have lived in the guts
of these animals to help them digest their food? It is possible that
_Pachyrinosaurus_ had bacteria in its guts that enabled the easy
production of keratin from the animals normal foods, where others did
not contain those parasites. [I am thinking of Termites and Ants as
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
Of David Marjanovic
Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2002 2:55 PM
To: The Dinosaur Mailing List
Subject: Re: Pachyrhinosaur nasal horn?
----- Original Message -----
From: "Williams, Tim" <TiJaWi@agron.iastate.edu>
> Perhaps a cornified nasal
> horn held certain advantages over a horn with a bony core.
Maybe keratin is cheaper to maintain than bone. Of course this would beg
question why not all centrosaurines had pure keratin horns...