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Re: Dinosaur Planet, parts 3 & 4
For one, we cannot simply say wheather dinosaurs cared or didn't care, as a
group, there were certainly different methods of raising young.
Crocs take very good care of their eggs, and watch the young for a while, but
they just supervise, and do nothing in the ways of feeding.
Most placedntal skinks will watch their young for a little while. Some, such
as shingle back and prehensile tail skinks will live with their offspring for
quite a while, defending it visciously. I know a few people that own
C.zebrata, solomon island skinks, and while they are VERY frendly and
intelligent lizards, become very protective of young, and will really hurt you
if you mess with the babies.
Some snakes watch their nests, some species of python will actually incubate
the eggs by coiling around the clutch, rubbing their scales together to
Most lizards do the drop eggs and move on approach. Even in that, there is
great variation. there are members of the same GENUS that vary in the method
of reproduction. Some will lay eggs, some will give live birth(non-placental).
So there exists the possibility that SOME dinosaurs did the same, perhaps the
largest sauropods popped out a baby that weighed in at several hundred pounds,
and was able to follow the herd. That would solve all kinds of problems.
Out of all extant animals, only mammals and birds (except for the few skink
species) actually CARE for the young. I think the degree dinosaurs cared
varied, but I do think it is somewhat over-done in books and tv shows, simply
because of our desire to have them as bird-like as possible.
I suspesct that it was somewhere in between.
Birds didn';t always lay big eggs and raise their chicks so well. There was a
transition from the sea turtle/croc method, and the vulture laying one egg and
investing so much into it.
And considering the way of life of birds(fledging, potential for death at first
flight, etc), that transition occured while they were still on the ground in
more of a "therapod" form.