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Re: How Did Hadrosaurs Defend Their Young?
I've spent many an hour pondering this very question.
First and foremost the adult Hadrosaurs would want to
build their nest sights in areas protected by
environment. Be that water, mud, rock or remoteness,
this would be a great first defense.
I think that mother hadrosaurs are not protecting
their eggs and young from massive carnosaurs but from
everything else. Small reptiles and mammals,
pterosaurs, and small too mid-range dinosaurs would be
the greatest threats to eggs and young and thus having
protective parents would have been a huge advantage.
When the big boys showed up the Adult Hadrosaurs would
have had to simply abandon the nest. A large mega
predator would not likely been overly interested in
eggs and babies. But might have eaten some anyway,
especially if hunting was bad. Even so, in large
nesting sight many of the young would have survived a
single attack from a large meat eater.
However, if a big predator did run off the adults the
smaller egg thieves and other opportunists might be
right there waiting to run in and eat their fill.
Which might have made in necessary for Adult
Hadrosaurs to carry off as many eggs and or young as
they could carry.
--- Sim Koning <email@example.com> 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?
> Sim Koning
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