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Re: New in Palaeontology
"...such behaviour preceded the evolution of the
elaborate horns and frills seen in derived ceratopsids. "
I put that in the 'not-very-surprising but real cool' category.
----- Original Message ----
From: Rob Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Sunday, September 16, 2007 8:35:31 AM
Subject: New in Palaeontology
ZHAO QI, PAUL M. BARRETT, DAVID A. EBERTH (2007)
SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AND MASS MORTALITY IN THE BASAL CERATOPSIAN DINOSAUR
PSITTACOSAURUS (EARLY CRETACEOUS, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA)
Palaeontology 50 (5), 1023-1029.
Abstract: An exceptionally preserved herd of the ceratopsian dinosaur
Psittacosaurus was recovered from the Lujiatun Beds of the Lower Cretaceous
Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, north-east China. This specimen
provides the earliest direct evidence of post-nestling gregarious behaviour
in this important dinosaur clade. The sediment in which the skeletons occur
represents a lahar (volcanic mudflow), indicating that the six individuals
present were entombed simultaneously during a catastrophic mass mortality
event. Reconstruction of the herd age profile shows it was composed of
offspring from at least two clutches, revealing that group fidelity in these
dinosaurs extended beyond time spent together in the nest. This demonstrates
that sociality appeared much earlier in ceratopsian evolution than is
generally acknowledged and that such behaviour preceded the evolution of the
elaborate horns and frills seen in derived ceratopsids.