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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 Australia.

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... :)


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