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Re: dinosaur beaks and ora speeds

Michael Lovejoy wrote:

> Personally I feel all ornithischians and all maniraptorans >possessed beaks.

IIRC, in your Eotyrannus paper, Tyrannosauroidea is in Maniraptoriformes. Does this mean you feel T-rex had a beak? ( Not trying to be funny; this is a serious question.)

Not wanting to speak on Darren's behalf, but Maniraptoriformes is a more inclusive group than Maniraptora. The latter (according to recent analyses) contains _Ornitholestes_, alvarezsaurids, oviraptorosaurs, therizinosaurs, dromaeosaurids, troodontids, and birds. Tyrannosaurs and ornithomimosaurs (which were almost certainly beaked) are outside this clade, but are not too far away. The skull of _Alioramus_ shows good evidence for a beak, at least according to the criteria used to judge whether a rhampotheca was present or not (see Darren's post). The same evidence can be marshaled in favor of a beaked _Carcharodontosaurus_ as well.

Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:

It can be tempting to apply a human context to animal
facial expressions or bodily postures, but without a Vulcan mind-meld
you can never know exactly what motivates an animal to do what it does.

A Steve Irwin + Komodo dragon mind-meld - now THAT I'd watch!

Victorian naturalists used to think that hyaenas felt guilty for killing they prey, and that this was proof that they had a sense of christian morality. However their sheepish, furtive glances straight after a kill are more likely to check for lions or wild dogs that may try to steal the carcass, rather than proof that they feel any sort of guilt.

Well, so much for that theory. Similarly, I would guess that a crocodile's tears do not, after all, reflect a genuine sense of remorse after devouring an English tourist.


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