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RE: Pachycephalosaurs & head-butting




On Wed, 2 Apr 2008, Brian Baziak wrote:
All that the finite element analysis can show is that the shape of the sub adult skull was a good shape for dispersing the force of a blow. It ignores the histological evidence, as well as the difficulty in head butting with two round objects. What is more parsimonious, that they head butted during one point of their life and then mated for life, or that they never head butted at all, and the dome that they develop through their lives is a display structure used only for species recognition and to look sexy to other pachycephalosaurs.

The wiki page (cough cough) states

 However, in no known dinosaur can the head, neck, and body be oriented
 in such a position. Instead, the cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae
 of pachycephalosaurs show that the neck was carried in an "S"- or
 "U"-shaped curve.

giving

Carpenter, Kenneth (1997). "Agonistic behavior in pachycephalosaurs (Ornithischia:Dinosauria): a new look at head-butting behavior" (pdf). Contributions to Geology 32 (1): 19-25.

as a reference. Perhaps head butting was done in defense, against (softer)
sides of bodies...