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Re: Sinornithoides in DA... the first Sleeping Dragon.

Torsten van der Lubbe (DragonsClaw@gmx.net) wrote:

<Why should a cursorial animal, contrary to the "run away" behaviour one would
expect, curl up into a ball when faced with deadly danger?>

  Which is a typical defensive or resting posture for birds, apparently occured
in the "protective" oviraptorids and may have even been true of an undescribed
*Psittacosaurus* on top of "her" brood, and may be a behavior innate to
dinosaurs of a size not to injure their young when sitting on them. Hence Xu &
Norell's hypothesis as I quoted in my last post on this subject. This appears,
based on all the data, the most likely scenario to fit the evidence, or as Kris
said, "all things being equal". Animals which care for their young and huddle
when doing so seem to do the same thing when distressed and otherwise. We call
this the "fetal" position because even _we_ do this, rather than just run away
(the flight or fight mechanism is not the only defense behavior exhibited by
animals, and fear and selfishness may be overriden by the desire or mechanism
of protection of the young). I should also note that the holotype is not adult
and that this behavior may be the "unlearned" clutching huddle behavior during
sleep. Hence the name. I hope this helps.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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