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Re: Stego Throat Armor?
On Wed, Sep 19, 2007 at 12:39:39PM -0700, T. Michael Keesey scripsit:
> On 9/19/07, George Blasing <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Why would Stegosaurus, a dinosaur with its head held so low to the ground,
> > have dermal armor on the underside of its throat? Were there predators,
> > "crocodiles maybe?", that could actually attack it in that spot? The big
> > predators, like Allosaurus and Ceratosaurus, would have grabbed it from
> > above at the top of the back of the neck, right? Why have armor in a spot
> > that can't be reached anyway?
> Maybe it wasn't for its predators, but for its "prey". Many
> Jurassic-type plants tend to have a high spikiness factor.
Or it had to worry about being attacked while in a tripodal feeding
Or it had to worry about being attached from the front -- even
a very stupid theropod would want to stay away from the thagomizer --
and being kicked, rather than bit.
Or the dermal armour is a display structure and was all sorts of vivid
colours in life, and there was rearing involved in the display.
There ought to be enough general selection pressure against the
expensive practise of growing extra bones that I'd think the assumption
would be 'this had a purpose'.