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Re: Antorbital fenestra



On Friday, November 26, 2004, at 01:39  PM, Andrew A. Farke wrote:

The antorbital fenestra houses an air sac in all archosaurs. See Witmer 1997
for *the* paper on the antorbital fenestra. Muscles have little, if anything, to do with the fenestra.

That seemed to be the most logical purpose for me too, I assume for communication, as well as display, if not more for display. Since the antorbital fenestra in many theropods is the largest opening in the skull, I figure that simply being a muscle attachment does not warrant the implied danger of giving another theropod such a vulnerable and large area to [mortally] wound. On the other hand, housing an air sac to be used for visual communication that would bulge out of this opening makes more sense. Especially considering that most, if not all, theropod skulls are adorned with crests, horns, and ridges of different shapes and sizes that in most cases wouldn't make good weapons - although they make fantastic inter-specific display devices.
Funny thing is reading about the mating displays of kori bustards is what made me ask this question.


Kent Caldwell

oops - actually, that was my answer. Whenever I think of anorbital fenestra, I automatically think of the big, modified ones possessed by theropods; I did not even consider its function in other archosaurs.

Speaking of modified, has anyone noticed a correlation to the size and/or shape of the A/F in theropods in relation to headdress(crests, etc.). Also, how has the A/F in theropods changed from pre-theropod archosaurs?


Hehe, I love questions.