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Re: Preview of new stegosaur plate paper

I agree with Cliff on this. Why have such a lethal,
pointed structure as a stegosaur spike only for the
purpose of display? If this were the case, one could
imagine a lot of other, and perhaps more effective,
shapes that would suit this purpose. A "one function
only" idea would be in this case similar to the claim
that ceratopsian brow horns probably weren't used for
defense against predators, only for intraspecific
rivalry. --Mark Hallett  
--- Renato Santos <dracontes@hotmail.com> wrote:
> Cliff Green wrote:
> >
> >Dear List,
> >
> >     They're not making this claim about stegosaur
> tail spikes are they?
> >
> >Really getting sick of Horner's  %##@@! Peaceful
> Kingdom theories Cliff
> Seldom is the case where one structure has only one
> function so I would bet 
> my money in both defense and display.
> When one looks at the diversity of arrangements of
> back plates and tail 
> spikes have in stegosaurs, I'd think first that they
> were display structures 
> either coopted from or coopted to defense weapons.
> I think the same about ankylosaurs: they to could
> have used their awesome 
> array of armour and the tail club to assert mating
> rights. Actually what 
> else could males prove than the imperviousness of
> their armour and being 
> good enough foragers to maintain such structures and
> still be strong enough 
> to lug it around. I can imagine male ankylosaurs in
> the mating season 
> squaring off with powerful swipes of the tail and
> generally trying either to 
> scare off or to turn the opponent on it's belly.
> (See the glyptodont 
> Doedicurus)
> Stegosaur could use their profusely irrigated plates
> to intimidate rivals 
> and if that wasn't enough the tail spikes could be
> deftly used to prove that 
> might makes right.
> Renato Santos
> Ben Creisler wrote:
> >
> >In case this news release has not been mentioned
> here yet:
> >
> >http://
> >
> >Stegosaur plates and spikes for looks only,
> researchers
> >say
> >By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | 16 May 2005
> >BERKELEY - The bizarre plates and spikes that lined
> the
> >backbones of the long-extinct stegosaurs were
> probably
> >extreme examples of the often elaborate and
> colorful
> >displays developed by animals to recognize fellow
> members
> >of their species, according to an international
> team of
> >paleontologists. .....
> >
> >Padian, Main and coauthors John R. Horner of the
> Museum of
> >the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., and Armand de
> Ricqlès of
> >the University of Paris report their analysis of
> dinosaur
> >scutes and stegosaur plates in the spring issue of
> the
> >journal Paleobiology, to be published later this
> month.
> >.....
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