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Re: dinosaur behaviours

At 11:35 PM 26/10/02 -0600, Bill Hunt wrote:
>> 4) Sense of touch. Touch is an important sense in most mammals. Most
>> dinosaurs, with their scaly skins, don't seem too suited to be very
>> sensitive to tactile stimulation. But is it possible that touch may have
>> played an important factor in activities like social contact, social
>> grooming, mating rituals etc? And is it possible that many of the feathered
>> dinosaurs may have had 'whiskers' or vibrassae around their muzzles?
> Are these known in any modern-day dinosaurs?

Yes there are; most arieal-insect eating birds have bristles and
semibristles around the mouth

There are, in addition, examples of feathers serving in tactile social contact. Both the males of the Wire-tailed Manakin (Pira filicauda) of South America and the Twelve-wired Bird of Paradise (Seleucidis melanoleuca) of New Guinea have long, stiff, wire-like feathers (on the tail of the manakin, and on the flanks of the bird of paradise) that they use to sweep across the face of the female at the high point of courtship display - a sort of avian S&M.

I should mention that I will be signing of the list either today or tomorrow for a month, as I am off to Chile for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), followed by a bit of bird- (or avian dino-) watching.

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:ornstn@rogers.com