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RE: More on the baby Triceratops

It is easy to create all sorts of scenarios, including that babies rode
on the backs of adults through muddy areas. But that is not science
since it is untestable with extinct organism. All interpretations must
be made of what IS there, not what might have been.

Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/
Chief Preparator
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
Phone: 303-370-6392
Fax: 303-331-6492

for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
Mountain Project: 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of dannj@alphalink.com.au
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 6:27 PM
Subject: RE: More on the baby Triceratops

On Wed, 8 Mar 2006 17:29:31 -0700, Ken.Carpenter wrote
> No, not all tracks are underprints. The presence of scale patterns 
> from the underside of the foot proove that. Second, some very small 
> juvenile tracks of hadrosaurs are known from a coal swamp in Utah. 
> These are segregated from adult tracks.

Of course, "segregated" need not equate with "left behind to fend for
themselves" if my second point was the case. Adults with larger foot
surface areas and leg muscles capable of extracting the foot from mud
may have been more comfortable wading through areas that juveniles
prefered to skirt around. If those muddier areas are more likely to
preserve tracks, then the juvie tracks might not get preserved at all.
That doesn't mean they weren't a part of the herd though (of course,
negative evidence doesn't prove they WERE

> Dann Pigdon wrote:
>> Seriously though - aren't most prints actually underprints? If so, 
>> the juvies may not have been heavy enough to make prints of 
>> sufficient depth to be preserved.
>> Alternatively, the sort of muddy areas where prints would be best 
>> preserved may have been avoided by the juveniles (with perhaps a 
>> small number of adults as chaperones). They may have gone around 
>> those areas, while adults and sub- adults plowed straight through.
>> A third option: if juvies were kept in the middle of the travelling 
>> group, their tiny prints might have been obliterated by larger 
>> animals walking behind them.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs