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RE: Hadrosaur beaks and tails

Since we no longer have Diatryma and dromornithids, the only animals still
around with serious shearing power in a beak (rhamphotheca) are turtles.
There are other extant birds you don't want to be bitten by, but they are
mostly going to puncture and mangle rather than slice. Some predatory
turtles have notches and 'cusps' on the beak margin like many birds, but I
assume you are after something with a simpler shearing bite like a large
tortoise (testudinid). I'm not sure how powerful they are, but the hadrosaur
with similar-sized beak had a lot more space for efficient adductor muscles,
and was a much bigger animal overall. If you can get access to a large
turtle skeleton with the rhamphotheca still on, look at how the edges of the
upper and lower jaws slide past each other, maintaining sharp edges on the
keratin. Don't hand-feed the hadrosaur.

Dr John D. Scanlon, FCD
Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Outback at Isa
"Get this $%#@* python off me!", said Tom laocoonically.

-----Original Message-----
From: Ezra Toranosuke [mailto:sherekhanjunior@hotmail.com] 
Sent: 17 October, 2009 6:00 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Hadrosaur beaks and tails

Hey everyone! I'm guessing most of you didn´t get to read my first message
since I seemingly sent it in the wrong format. It was about abelisaurs, and
about me saying "I'm new and an amateur who wants to learn from the experts
etc etc etc). I got a couple answers (thanks guys!) that were very helpful
(and reassuring...) 
Anyways, here's another question: I was wondering what the beaks of
hadrosaurs were like when the animals were alive. I understand they were
made of keratin, but what was the covering like? As in, were the edges of
the beak sharp or not? Or even, what would an hadrosaur bite feel like? Do
you think hadrosaurs could have used their beaks for self defense against
minor predators such as dromaeosaurs? How much could these animals open
their jaws? 
And my second question is about their tails. I heard a rumour about a
hadrosaur (from China, I think) which had a whip-like tail. Any new info on
that subject? 
My third question is about asking questions were. Should I send one message
for each subject? As in, if I have two doubts at the same time and about
different subjects, should I post them separately? I just don´t want to
flood y'all...
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