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Re: Whiskers

Just a couple weeks ago, on a whim, I drew long bristles on the head of the generic (ie, badly drawn) therapod I was doodling, though such a thing had never occurred to me before. Maybe dinosaur hairs are in the zeitgeist.

But hair-like growths, as delicate sensors, have developed all across the animal kingdom. Why wouldn't some dinosaur species have evolved them too? Though they might not be true "hairs", they would serve similar functions as the filaments in mammals, fish, various invertebrates.

My wife and I just finished watching David Attenborough's "The Life Of Birds" DVD series, which would seem to be a MUST-SEE for anyone speculating on dinosaur behavior. One of the things that struck me was how birds of similar physical structure could have radically different lifestyles. I could certainly envision one dinosaur subspecies having some kind of "whiskers" adapted to its particular needs, while its sister subspecies has no use for them at all.

I've just recently joined the dinolist and this is my first post. I'm enjoying discussions here immensely and will continue to participate.


On May 14, 2005, at 10:39 PM, Mark Hallett wrote:

Actually I have as well, but in regard to small
maniraptoran predators. Since filoplume-like and
pennaceous feathers were present in some forms, why
not the vibrissae one sees in some small living
passeriformes and falconiformes(buteos and accipters,
specifically)that presumably aid in judging the
proximity of dead prey to gauge distance,in
compensation for loss of focussing ability, to seize
it or tear it apart.I did this on a rendition of
Velociraptor a couple of years ago, showing the
vibrissae-like shafts pointed forward across the
maxillary area. This would be analogous to mammalian
whiskers, which among other things allow some
predators to effectively "feel" the prey when
delivering the lethal bite to the throat or clamping
the nose. Comments?  --Mark Hallett
--- Danvarner@aol.com wrote:
In a message dated 5/14/2005 4:00:52 AM Eastern
Standard Time,
ajgrant@eastlink.ca writes:
<< Has anybody ever  meditated on the thought of
dinosaurs with whiskers,
or a whisker-like  facial apparatus? >>
Many, many years ago I feel in  love with the idea
of Diplodocus being a
clam-eater. I still kind of like it,  come to think
of it. Anyway, I did an oil
painting of a group of Diplodocus in a  river
setting. I equipped the animals
catfish-like whiskers in order to sense  the
bivalves in the murky waters. Years
later I destoryed the painting and I've  long since
given up abusing certain
substances. DV

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