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Re: Questioms from James Carey?
BRIEF REPLY: I am afraid that this letter answers
nothing, Jaime. Rather, you are conflating syllables.
I did not place a qualifier or quantifier on my
allusion to predation risks, but you have read into
the two words observations I did not propose (all
small theropods, of course, endured predation risk).
Nor did I ask about the capacity of these tiny animals
-- the new Microraptor is 770 mm long -- to be able to
kill (tell me, Jaime: was such a small adult a
voracious hunter capable to extinguishing a bus-size
hadrosaur in a single bound?). My feeling is that
these were, in the main, insectivores and frugivores,
with an occasional tiny lizard or mammal (remember,
Jaime, the animal is 770 mm long) in the diet...unless
one assumes that hundreds of these taxa, in a swarming
flock, attacked enormous prey. "If it built
nests"...this stretches my credulity (of course, they
may have had tiny suitcases to carry their eggs). My
speculative thoughts re: brood patches is the source
of another one of your illogical idiosyncratic
screeds: I asked if there is any evidence preserved
re: a brood patch in these feathered dinosaurs
emerging from China, and it is meaningless to point to
extant dinosaurs lacking brood patches as the
predicate logic of your sentence implies, thus,
pre-K/T feathered dinosaurs lacked them.
Hmm...tyrannosaurs with butt-fans, and running up
inclines, is a fascinating source of dream imagery,
but your iterations are, if attempts at humour, not
translatable in a G-rated forum.
Remember: it was the dog not barking which
--- "Jaime A. Headden" <email@example.com> wrote:
> Stephan Pickering (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> <Jim Carey -- whose paper on dinosaur parental care
> will, in time, be the
> basis of an extensive study of various questions --
> has sent me some
> questions which I'll outline here for possible
> If you could, what were his actual questions?
> <1. The new Microraptor shows that, ground-dwelling
> (predation risk) would
> have been difficult, and that tree-living (or in
> burrows on the sides of
> cliffs, e.g.). Unlike most dinosaurs, thus, it
> "nested" in trees >
> incipient parental care.>
> Don't see how *Microraptor* was at any greater
> risk of predation than,
> say, *Sinosauropteryx* which, judging from its short
> arms and similar
> length, was as small and probably more or less
> terrestrial. This may or
> may not have led to incipient parental care, even in
> birds, which is
> plesiomorphically (as pointed out by Hopp and Orsen)
> ground-based; there
> is direct evidence of parental care of the nest in
> *Citipati* which is
> <2. Do the teeth of any of the Microraptors show
> patterns and morphologies
> from which one could infer nesting building
> capabilities and/or feeding
> altricial young?>
> They were good at killing things? There were large
> predatory teeth. I
> would assume that nest building was aided, as in
> most birds, by a
> combination of foot (read: & hand) and mouth, just
> as in crocs. If it
> built nests. Not exactly a provable thing.
> <3. One wonders if these small dinosaurs were raised
> through "fledgling"
> stages. Do any of the feathered dinosaur fossil show
> any indication of a
> brood patch?>
> Any evidence of moulting bald spots? Not sure...
> Presumably some
> theropods would have had bare undersides, but there
> is no evidence for
> this, and all forms seems to suggest or do not
> indicate that the entire
> trunk was covered. In *Citipati*, the entire trunk
> overlayed the nest, as
> did the arms, unlike birds, during the actual
> nesting period. How this
> translates to brooding behavior I do not know, and
> it is speculative to
> suggest that any non-avian theropod had a brood
> patch when even many basal
> extant birds, such as ratites, lacked them as well.
> And still brooded in
> Jaime A. Headden
> Little steps are often the hardest to take. We
> are too used to making leaps in the face of
> adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do. We
> should all learn to walk soft, walk small, see the
> world around us rather than zoom by it.
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B.
> Medawar (1969)
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