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Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Defend Their Young?



Sim Koning wrote:
>   I'm not sure if this has been brought up already, but I was wondering, if
> hardrosaur young were altricial as Horner's theory suggests, how would the
> parents defend them? Imagine this, there is a nesting colony of maiasaura
> with thousands of helpless young. A pack of albertosaurs come out of a
> nearby forest, roaring and making threatening movements. The adult maiasaura
> panic into a stampede and run from the nesting ground. The albertosaurs now
> proceed to go nest to nest getting mouthfuls of maiasaura chicks.
>
> Do you think Hadrosaurs mounted some kind of defense? Do you think they just
> ran away and came back later? Or do you think that the young were actually
> precocial and left the nest soon after hatching?

There are a few things in this scenario I heartily disagree with.
First I'd think panicking into a stampede even if the nests were 7
meters apart would result in a wake of destruction being wrought upon,
at least, one side of the nesting colony. So I'd think Maiasaura would
stand their ground as after all an albertosaur pack would contain much
less individuals than a nesting colony. If male Maiasaura were
available, the ones closest could face off the predators.
Don't be biased by those wildlife shows that only depict herbivores
running from carnivores: herbivores can and do fight back.
I also agree with Andrew that mouthfuls of Maiasaura chicks would be a
very meager meal to an albertosaur besides being very unhygienic and
that Maiasaura parents would be more worried about small predators.

Renato Santos

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