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Re: Delayed "growth spurt" in T. rex



Phil Bigelow wrote:
> 
> Anyone care to speculate on why the "growth spurt" phase in the _T. rex_
> young occured 10 years AFTER the animal's birth?  Logically, such a
> growth spurt would have taken place from birth through adolescence.

A growth spurt needs to be fuelled. Mammals have it easy, since milk is
a concentrated source of nourishment and infants don't need to produce
it themselves. Mammalian babies have a lot in common with parasites in
this respect. :)

Perhaps it was only once a tyrannosaur reached a certain size (and had
gained a certain level of hunting prowess) that it was able to fuel its
growth spurt. For all we know juveniles may have been largely solitary
(after an initial croc-like phase of parental care), with groups forming
only once they had reached a large enough mass to be able to take down
larger prey... and to be able to fend each other off at a kill. Until
then, remaining small and inconspicuous may have improved their survival
chance.

Komodo monitor juvies keep to themselves while small to avoid
competition with adults (spending a lot of time in trees to stay well
out of the adults' way). Once they reach an intimidating size and can
hold their own in a scuffle, they start to hang out in groups. Only
large adults will be seen congregating at a carcass - juvies would risk
becoming dessert.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia        http://heretichides.ravencommunity.net/
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