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Re: Segregated vs age-mixed sauropod herds

On Mon, 15 Mar 2010, don ohmes wrote:
Visualizing the nesting process, again assuming the rookery scenario is correct: once a multi-nest 'patch' was been established, how does a female ready to lay her eggs add her nest to it?

"Building" a depression with the head from a safe distance seems

Are there any signs of digging? Claw marks, whatever?

straight-forward; but then this huge animal had to turn, put herself into reverse gear, and position herself over the depression, keeping the tail clear of the ground to avoid disturbing other nests, and deposit the eggs with reasonable accuracy into it. Perhaps the mouth was then used to place any misdirected eggs into the depression as the site seems to speak against any scattering of eggs.

In the counter-intuitive case where the depression is built with the large feet, accuracy is still an issue, and the head would likely be needed to remedy any poorly-aimed eggs. These depressions were very small (=<1m in diameter?) relative to the size of the animal, unlike a turtle nest, wherein a miss is mechanically unlikely. And they are also very tightly packed, relative t areful egg laying in broad daylight!" Although I am not at all sure about the need for daylight.

The alternative to visual sighting is touch. Doubtful the tail could
be used for this, but, that leaves the hind feet. Perhaps the hind feet were sensitve enough to be able to feel the depression and thereby
positin herself over it, even nudge eggs around...