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Re: Solved (Re: T rex & smell)



I originally thought Camptosaurs was limited to the Jurassic age and before the aforementioned Cretaceous pleasure plants but I now find reference to their presence in the early Cretaceous.

Gee, what other reasons could an organism develop a large olefactory system? Let's see...: 1. Maybe the earlier thread is correct and they were stoners. 2. They might have used their enhanced sense of smell to stay away from carrion because of the likelihood of nearby predators.. 3. Maybe they were always looking for a potential mate as I am sure a willing, in heat female Camptosaurus was not a common occurrence and they probably didn't have the drug for sex thing down yet. (Thus the naming of Camptosaurus depressus {depression} and C dispar {an obvious reference to dispair!}). 4. Maybe they sensed carbon dioxide concentrations like mosquitos (Subtle Jurassic Park reference there! ) and homed in on their favorite food. 5. Maybe they were really territorial and marked their place with scat or urine. 6. Maybe they used subtle scent detection to detect danger by sniffing the air for some bad actor hanging around. 7. Maybe water was scarce out of wet season and they used their nose like cattle to find distant water holes (coincidentally lush cycad et al vegetation by the water holes). 8. Maybe they used smell as an elaborate method of communication for showing emotional states by releasing pheremones. 9. Maybe they just liked the smell of rotting vegetation. 10. Maybe they used smell to differentiate other family members. 11. Maybe they were near sighted like a rhino and needed the extra sniffing sense to compensate. 12. Maybe all of the above. What ever the answer(s), there were obviously selective pressures toward the development of a good sniffer and obvious adaptive benefits toward such a characteristic as is obvious by the expression of the adaptation. Anything I missed?

Frank Bliss
MS Biostratigraphy
Weston, Wyoming

P.S.
I never considered a College Fraternity House for an environmental model in the Cretaceous! What was I thinking???? No wonder I find body fossils left strewn haphazardly around my ranch. Nobody around here was neat back then. Obviously, Ornithopods were lousy parents.


On Dec 5, 2004, at 10:39 AM, Phil Bigelow wrote:


Having just finished the endocast of Camptosaurus, it
has huge olfactories as well. In fact, they are twice as wide as the
brain portion. We could argue as to why an ornithopod has such well
developed sense of smell, but obviously there is more to it than
locating carrion.


The purpose of the well-developed olfactory bulbs on a dino herbivore was
to facilitate the location of the closest marijuana fields and to zero-in
on any nearby sources of opium-producing plants.


Cretaceous Cannabaceae? (Johnson) type specimens: YPM 6203, YPM 6204, YPM
6205.


Cretaceous member of the poppy family: _Palaeoaster inquirenda_(Smith).
TYPE. YPM-6131

YPM = Yale-Peabody Museum specimen numbers.

Clearly, _T. rex_ was a lazy scavenger, and ornithopods were a bunch of
Mesozoic druggies. A modern analog for this paleoecosystem is a college
fraternity house. All artistic reconstructions of both Cretaceous
landscapes and dinosaurs should use a color scheme that Jerry Garcia
would have approved of. Tie-dyed color patterns for dino integument
would be appropriate.


<pb> (who has personally witnessed intoxicated bluejays flying into the
sides of barns after they ate fermented berries.  Not a pretty sight).
--