Animal minds Evolution Intelligent Design

Study of baby Diplodocus skull prompts new theories of dinosaur behavior

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Artist’s impression of adult and baby/Andrey Atuchin

We are starting to get so much more information now:

Andrew had a short narrow snout, whereas his parents had wide, square snouts. His snout was suited to forests, but his parents would be grazing the ground in open areas.
But if adults fed their babies, why would they need to have different teeth and snouts? The researchers believe that the babies fended for themselves and were separated from the adults.
The babies most likely lived in forests in age-segregated herds, which could protect them both from predators and from being trampled by their own gigantic parents.

skull remains/John P. Wilson

“I’ve been thinking of these roving bands of young Diplodocus in the forests akin to Peter Pan’s Lost Boys,” Woodruff said. “These age-segregated herds likely sought refuge in more forested areas where they could hide and be more concealed, opposed to being out in the open.”Ashley Strickland, “Rare baby dinosaur fossil is full of surprises” at CNN

That’s speculation of course, but the difference is that if evidence is in play, it’s no longer free-form speculation.

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See also: Soft tissue find shows dinosaurs had birdlike lungs

3 Replies to “Study of baby Diplodocus skull prompts new theories of dinosaur behavior

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Aren’t they cute! Makes you want to believe they really looked like that.

  2. 2
    vmahuna says:

    My guess would be that young dinos are like young any other kind of lizard. Except to eat each other, I don’t think young alligators or crocodiles concentrate much of their youth building social networks with fellow hatchlings from the same nest.

    And except for the Good Mother dinos, I’ve never seen any suggestion that adult dinos did anything beyond dropping the eggs and wandering off. Daddy dinos would more likely be candidates for EATING (or stepping on) new hatchlings.

    But people WANT dinos to be humanlike. Humanlike dinos make better movie stars. So it helps your next grant request if you said in your last funded study that “there are indications” that dinos were more sociable than snakes or birds.

  3. 3
    News says:

    I think I see Mung’s point at 1. Baby mammals are cute and some baby birds are cute. But baby reptiles are usually mini adults. That may reflect different parenting strategies, no?

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