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RE: Stegosaur display behavior (script question)



Stellar's Jay males perform a head-to-tail display.

- SH

Sylvia Hope, PhD
Dept. of Ornithology and Mammalogy
California Academy or Sciences
875 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103, U.S.A
Tel.: (415) 321-8373
 


> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On
> Behalf Of Patrick Norton
> Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 5:17 PM
> To: kcasino@comcast.net; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Stegosaur display behavior (script question)
> 
> >They are circling each other, head to tail, pausing to shake their
> tails at
> >each other.
> 
> This sounds improbable, since it puts the most vulnerable part of
> the animal
> (the head) in direct proximity to the most lethal part of its
> opponent (the
> tail).  Putting oneself in such a position might be reasonable to
> speculate
> as a possible submissive behavior, but not a dominance behavior.
> Two males
> in a dominance display would likely position themselves to show off
> their
> most dominat attribute most effectively while protecting their most
> vulnerable assets.  For Steg's, this would mean keeping the tail of
> your
> opponent at a distance while keeping your colored plates in clear
> view.
> Perhaps a bluffing charge at an opponent at an oblique angle with
> plates in
> full display, followed by a quick retreat to a safe distance might
> make more
> sense.
> 
> > As the smaller male wanders off, he spots the pennants on the
> vehicles,
> > and interprets them -- tall, triangular, brightly colored -- as a
> > challenge.
> 
> Reasonable enough to me.
> 
> >As the lead characters get out of the way, he approaches the
> stalled
> >vehicle, and begins to circle it. Eventually, frustrated by an
> opponent
> >that is both smaller and duller than he is but who still refuses to
> give
> >way or engage in a display contest, he swings his tail at the
> vehicle.
> 
> Or, under my scenario, he bluff charges it several times, honking
> (or
> whatever they did) and kicking up dust, each time coming closer and
> generally scaring the bejeezus out of the occupants. In the end,
> when it
> doesn't respond, he hammers the hummer appropriately.
> 
> Then again, who the heck knows?
> 
> PTN
>