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Re: Dinosaurs burrowed to keep warm



Careful, that word "infamous" has been a hot topic lately. ;)

Lee

On 3/21/07, John Scanlon <riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au> wrote:
Dann Pigdon wrote:

> ...
> If a burrow were to collapse and kill everything in it, I wonder what
> palaeontologists would make of the scene in the future? Neither birds nor
> snakes have any obvious burrowing adaptations.

Many snakes do have obvious burrowing adaptations (in the skull, trunk and
caudal vertebrae), but tigers (Notechis) are not among them.  There's one
famous example from Wyoming (perhaps infamous is the better word) of
supposedly burrowing snakes (attributed to the supposedly Erycine genera
Ogmophis and Calamagras) found in what is interpreted to be an actual
burrow. Breithaupt and Duvall reported the find in 1986 and interpreted it
as a possible winter aggregation. Some day, maybe, we might see some actual
morphology or systematics on the specimens.
(Hi Brent! How is that project coming along, anyhow?)

-----------------------------------------------
Dr John D. Scanlon
Palaeontologist,
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
19 Marian Street / PO Box 1094
Mount Isa  QLD  4825
AUSTRALIA
Ph:   07 4749 1555
Fax: 07 4743 6296
Email: riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au
http://tinyurl.com/f2rby


> -----Original Message----- > From: Dann Pigdon [mailto:dannj@alphalink.com.au] > Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2007 12:24 PM > To: DML > Subject: Re: Dinosaurs burrowed to keep warm > > Roberto Takata writes: > > > Could not Oryctodromeus just be trapped inside a lair of another > organism? > > I haven't read the paper itself, but apparently the robust forelimbs and > structure of the jaw may be adaptations for some sort of digging activity. > Of course, these same features would have been handy for scraping out nest > hollows for surface-dwellers as well. I wonder whether the tails of these > species were less stiffened than the 'average' hypsilophodontid? Going > down > a burrow with a long stiffened tail would seem to indicate a one-way trip. > :) > > Even if they did habitually reside down burrows, it doesn't necessarily > mean > they dug the burrows themselves. There are plenty of extant organisms that > use second-hand burrows. Wart hogs are a good example. They can't dig an > entire burrow themselves, but they can modify existing burrows abandoned > by > other animals and use them as shelter. > > Burrow-dwelling snakes can't even modify burrows at all. They simply make > do > with what another species has provided for them. The giant tiger snakes > that > live on islands in Bass Strait south of the Australian mainland shelter in > sheerwater burrows, often without even waiting for them to be abandoned. > The > tiger snakes feed mostly on sheerwater eggs which are only available for a > couple of months a year (necessitating a nine-month fast). Adult birds are > too large to be swallowed, as are the fast-growing chicks. The birds seem > to > tolerate the snakes in their burrows provided the eggs have already > hatched. > If a burrow were to collapse and kill everything in it, I wonder what > palaeontologists would make of the scene in the future? Neither birds nor > snakes have any obvious burrowing adaptations. > > ___________________________________________________________________ > > Dann Pigdon > GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs > Melbourne, Australia http://heretichides.soffiles.com > ___________________________________________________________________




--
Lee Hall
Paleontology Undergraduate,
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
lhall@montana.edu