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Re: More on the Massospondylus embryos

> "These animals do not have any teeth, and since they
> are ready to hatch, that is strange," said Robert
> Reisz of the University of Toronto at Mississauga in
> Canada, who led the study.
> "The only explanation for that is they must have
> been fed by the mother. That would be oldest
evidence > of parental care in the fossil record,"
Reisz added  > in a telephone interview.


Or that the young ate different material from the
adults. Parental care is not the only answer.


> And the babies did not look like the parents. Adult
> prosauropods were slender and two-legged.
> The babies looked more like the dinosaurs that
> developed later, and they looked like the babies of
> animals such as birds and mammals, as opposed to the
> small but adult-proportioned young of reptiles.


I thought this myth was already dispelled. Baby
reptiles do have "baby faces" (see baby green iguanas,
or crocodiles for examples). They're just not born
naked, like a lot of mammals and birds; which is
something I doubt the authours were referring to.


> "The head is quite large. The pelvic girdle is very
> small. That's where most of the muscles that would
> be
> used for locomotion are located," Reisz said.
> "So we are suggesting this was a relatively helpless
> little hatchling." 


Hmm, many extant reptile species are born fairly
helpless, and actually spend time in their opened
eggshells absorbing the yolk (this can last for days).
I wonder if this might have been the case here, too.

Which is not to say that I am poo pooing the idea of
attentive parents. It just seems like the authours are
jumping to conclusions here. I'm just looking for
alternative explanations. 


"I am impressed by the fact that we know less about many modern [reptile] types 
than we do of many fossil groups." - Alfred S. Romer

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