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Re: Psittacosaurus adult found with 34 juveniles

Alternatively, some territorial waterfowl will acquire (as a byproduct of intraspecies aggression) and defend the offspring of multiple individuals, greatly inflating the number of chicks under their care from their actual starting brood - for example the goldeneye behavior seen in the BBC series "The Life of Birds" - when two mothers squabble over territory, the losing bird departs, forced to abandon her offspring which join the victor's flock of ducklings.

Perhaps psittacosaurs did the same, rival mothers squaring off with vivid displays of tail-bristles?


On 09/09/2004, at 6:19 AM, DinoBoyGraphics@aol.com wrote:

That being said, unless the babies were born the size of a thimble and had already increased in size 10-fold, it's hard to understand how they could have all come out of one animal. Maybe extremely delaid incubation and simultaneous hatching could explain it (they were pretty close in size), but it seems more likely that the juveniles were from more than one animal, so my best guess is we are seeing communal nesting. Ostriches engage in communal parental care, so it doesn't require lots of smarts to pull off.

VERY cool specimen.

Scott Hartman
Zoology & Physiology
University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY 82070

(307) 742-3799