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Re: sauropod breeding



On Mon, 13 Mar 2006 19:29:02 +0100, Tommy Tyrberg wrote
> 
> A wild conjecture. Since sauropods were presumably very long-lived 
> could they have used the same breeding strategy as e. g. cicadas or 
> bamboo, i e synchronized breeding at long intervals thus "swamping" 
> predators with a vast number of young but leaving lean pickings 
> inbetween breeding episodes? To judge from the cicadas a prime 
> number of years (11, 13, 17, 19) is best since it cannot be tracked 
> by any shorter periodicity.
> 

There are plenty of strategies that could protect sauropod hatchlings on 
their own:

- They could eat toxic plants/insects and accumulate the poisons in their 
bodies (like poison arrow frogs, or those toxic Papuan birds).

- They could simply fool predators into thinking they're toxic by mimicking 
other toxic species.

- They could produce a scent so foul that most predators find them 
unpalatable (I believe some extant birds have incredibly stinky projectile 
vomit!)

Of course, these are all largely untestable theories as far as fossils are 
concerned...

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