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Re: Ceratopian defense (was..ah its to long to write).
Tracy Ford wrote:
> You wrote:
> >I've always been skeptical of the idea of using the horns for
> >intraspecific competition for two main reasons: first, those horns are
> >long and sharp.
> Some are indeed long, but sharp? I don't think so, a more rounded tip I'd bet.
Well, sharp in a relative sense. Maybe pointy would be a better term.
> Aside from the obvious problems of breakage due to
> >direct contact with the frill, the risk of injury in such exchanges
> >would be quite high.
> The horn is thicker and wouldn't break if it hit the thinner frill.
Right, but if it hit the thicker frill it'd have problems, and if it hit
the thinner frill the recipient would have problems. Head-butting would
thus be a game of Russian Roulette for those involved. Sounds like a
really bad mating strategy to me.
> Look at modern ungulates who exhibit head-butting
> >behavior; all of them have either antlers or recurved horns of some
> and NONE have frills like a ceratopian.
And note that most run away from their enemies; the ones who don't are
much bigger than their enemies. Since neither of these ocnditions
applies to ceratopians, I think it's more likely the frill was used for
defense; butting heads with those horns is just too dangerous.