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Re: Tyrannosaur age-population distributions

On Sat, 15 Jul 2006 21:17:21 -0400 Jonas Weselake-George <paleo@ncf.ca>
> Hello,
> I haven't seen the paper yet so I have a question for those with 
> wisdom:
> I find it interesting to consider the possibility that the large 
> change in
> size as the individual grew essentially required it to occupy 
> different
> niches. How long is development along the lines of juvenile 
> skeletons (large 
> leg to hip ratio etc.)

As the pros always say, "WFTP" ("wait for the paper").
The manuscript on "Jane" is either now in review or will shortly be in
review.  It will provide you with all of the juvie allometric info that
your heart could ever desire.

> and how abrupt is the transition to adult 
> hood?

Here's what is already known, according to Erickson et al. (2004) (with
varying degrees of certainty):

In _Tyrannosaurus rex_, sexual maturity was reached at age ~20 years. 
There was a short growth spurt phase early on, too.   _T. rex_ had a
*maximum* growth rate of 2.1 kilograms per day (that's max; most of the
time it's growth rate was lower).  It almost stopped growing after it
reached sexual maturity.  It had an average life expectancy of 28 years.
(Erickson et al., 2004, in _Nature_, vol.430, pages 772-775)

Sadly, in _T. rex_'s case, the animals usually died only a few years
after they first experience the "wonders of procreation".  Not to mention
having to endure the hassle of being attacked and beaten up on a nearly
daily basis after you reach adulthood.

Human analogy?  Imagine an "alternative history" for the late great
comedian, George Burns.  He lives his life as a virgin up to the age of
90.  Then puberty sets in and Mr. Burns finally starts to date.  He also
starts getting into a lot of fist fights with other stand-up comedians
and audience members, and then he dies a few years later after being hit
in the head with a beer bottle thrown by a heckler in the audience.

Makes ya' wonder if havin' to wait THAT long for sex would be worth the

Why do chicken coops only have two doors?
Because if they had four doors, they would be chicken sedans.
(as told to me by my neighbor's son)