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Re: Sauroparental care



I somehow suspect that the young merely avoiding
habitat where they faced a heavy risk of trampling to
be a lot more likely then what you propose.  No animal
I am aware of does anything remotely resembling that
for the youngesters.  Not to mention it would have
been impossible in my view for an adult sauropod to
dig a tunnel small enough to protect the infant
sauropods from larger predators.  Digging a tunnel is
a hard thing to do and requires a good amount of
specialization.  Even burrowing owls tend to use the
burrows of other animals like the desert tortoise,
only remodeling the area a bit.  I simply see no
logical reason or possibility for sauropod babies to
live underground.  

As for trampling, has any research been done on what
senses were likely keenest in various sauropods?  I
know their brains were small but if their senses were
good enough to detect even slight movement, and their
eyes had a near front-to-back viewing area, then they
could probably quite easily avoid stepping on their
young just as they would have to avoid stepping in
holes in the ground or on large rocks.  With how
slowly they moved they would have ample time to change
the placement of their feet. 

Jonathan Schmidt

--- zone65@bigpond.com wrote:
> OK, the question of how Saurpods avoided trampling
> their young into 
> brontoburgers must be considered... one idea is that
> the eggs were laid 
> in rather deep/wide burrows dug in the ground. The
> hatchlings would 
> then live there until they were large enough to
> emerge, and clever 
> enough to avoid their elders' feet. Another
> possibility is the young 
> lived on mud-islands created by the adults in lakes.
> 
> Peter Markmann
> Canberra
>