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Re: Segregated vs age-mixed sauropod herds

On Mon, Mar 15th, 2010 at 8:24 AM, Mike Habib <habib@jhmi.edu> wrote:

> > Let's not forget, snakes are MAJOR predators of baby birds today, 
> > even for species with biparental care.
> >
> > Parental care =/= total immunity of the babies from all attacks!!
> Excellent point. Never underestimate the stealth abilities of snakes.

Especially at night. Navigating via scent, or perhaps thermal-detecting pits, 
night allow the snakes 
to slip into the nesting grounds under cover of darkness. If they were 
constrictors, then they could 
have dispatched any lone hatchlings relatively silently.

Is there any way of telling from fossil skulls whether these snakes had thermal 
sensing abilities? 
Even if they didn't, there are nocturnal snakes around today that rely mostly 
on large sensitive 
eyes, like the 'night tiger' here in Australia that has done so much damage in 
Guam when it was 
accidentally introduced there.


Dann Pigdon
GIS Specialist                         Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj