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Re: More on the baby Triceratops



On Thu, Mar 09, 2006 at 02:54:39PM +1000, dannj@alphalink.com.au scripsit:
> Of course, any arguement based on extremely fragmentary evidence (and
> making behavioural inferences from footprints alone falls into this
> category) is always open to debate. Whether or not the debate can be
> settled one way or the other is another question...

There's nothing fragmentary about the footprints -- those *do* represent
what that animal was doing right then.

Trackway evidence is necessarily _not comprehensive_ -- most substrate
doesn't take tracks -- but that's not at all the same thing as
fragmentary.

Note also that the mass kill fossil sites which support herding
behaviour in ceratopsians also lack individuals below about half adult
size.

Nest defense, followed by herd inclusion at half size, is entirely
consistent with an R-strategist, and given the clutch sizes and tiny,
tiny brains, R-strategies are certainly what we're looking at.