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Re: Drinker and Oryctodromeus (was Re: Dinosaurs burrowed to keep warm)
Tim Williams writes:
If burrowing is primitive for ornithopods, then it would make sense for
this behavior to be retained in critters like _Atlascopcosaurus_ and
_Leallynasaura_, which had to endure those long polar winters in SE
Although that would depend on how close to the surface permafrost was.
Psittacosaurs may also be good burrowing candidates. A spiny tail would also
present an unappealing target for a predator trying to drag one out of a
burrow backwards (much like spiny-tailed lizards use their tails).
Those 'eyelid bones' above the eyes would also have provided good
protection from collapsing burrow material (or just plain bumping their
head on the ceiling).
Hey maybe that's why the pachycephalosaurs evolved really thick skulls!
After all, there is evidence that heterodontosaurids are closely related
to pachycephalosaurs. Those thick skull roofs served as 'hard hats'! ;-)
Come to think of it, tyrannosaurs had all sorts of hornlets and rugosities
on top of their heads too. The forelimbs however would suggest that their
burrowing abilities were somewhat limited... :)
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