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Re: Tyrannosaur age-population distributions

On Mon, 17 Jul 2006 12:52:48 +1000 Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
> Quoting Phillip Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com>:
> > _T. rex_ is "brainier" than crocs (and most herbivorous 
> dinosaurs), but
> > that isn't saying much.  Most of _T. rex_'s brain volume was taken 
> up by
> > the animal's sensory subsystems (olfactory lobes, and to a lesser 
> extent,
> > its optic lobes).  But for complex social interactions, a larger 
> cortex
> > is needed and _T. rex_ just doesn't measure up in that 
> Department.
> >
> I think you'll find that this idea is outdated poppy-cock (if you'll 
> excuse my French).
> The sheer complexity of intra-species interactions such as that  
> exemplified by the ecological niche of the cleaner wrass suggests 
> that  
> brain size is not a good indication of the presence or absence of  
> complex social interactions.

Earlier, Graydon claimed that tyrannosaurs were smarter than chickens,
and used a lot of lion/wolf behavioral terminology to describe their
purported social interactions.  Since no one really knows the truth to
those claims, I used the only hard evidence available (E.Q. comparisons)
to show that the claims are pure speculation.

I misspoke when I implied that "brain-challenged" creatures don't
interact with each other in complex ways.  Indeed, when observed under a
microscope, even brainless bacteria can be seen interacting with each
other when they congregate around a food source.  Their communications
are via various biochemical cues.

I think this thread serves a useful purpose in showing that "social
complexity" doesn't necessarily imply "social consciousness".  While I
agree that tyrannosaurs were probably quite complex in their interactions
with each other (as are crocs), I also suspect that they were probably
not particularly good at playing "fetch the stick".

Regarding the concept of wolf-like or lion pride-like family units in
tyrannosaurs: We don't even know if tyrannosaur babies were altricial or

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)