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Re: Stegosaur display behavior (script question)



This is hardly as risky as a head to tail display by stegosaurs.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Hope, Sylvia" <shope@calacademy.org>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 1:23 PM
Subject: 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