Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are You Feeling Horny, Baby?


Run over to Andrew Farke's blog and congratulate the man on a publication well done. Along with a few cohorts, the Open Source Paleontologist studied Triceratops and Centrosaurus skulls to determine whether or not Farke's habit of playing with toys actually paid off. Turns out that Triceratops shows injuries to the squamosal bone in places where you'd think two individuals' horns would hit if they were fighting each other. But the same is not true for Centrosaurus. Of course, that animal doesn't have large orbital horns, but it may mean that centrosaurine ceratopsids were competing in different ways, perhaps going after flanks instead of heads. Indeed, the "pinnacle" of centrosaurine evolution, Pachyrhinosaurus, has a giant bony boss on its nose that looks more like a battering ram than a horn. It would make a very effective shoving instrument. Check out Andrew's blog for the whole story--it's very interesting, and I love it when inferences about dinosaur behavior are tested against the fossils. Sometimes, they match up!

6 comments:

ScottE said...

Farke's habit of playing with toys [...]

"'Yes, this is a good land. We will rule over all this land. And we will call it...

"'... This Land.'

"'I think we should call it your grave!'

"'Ah, curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!'

"'Hahahaha! (Mine is an evil laugh.)'"

lantaro said...

YES. Above comment FTW

Andy said...

Sadly (or perhaps not), your title for this post is disturbingly close to headlines in some of the British newspapers. One of them even had a picture of Raquel Welch as the main visual. Once the paper gets published, it takes on a life of its own!

Zachary said...

Are you saying that Raquel Welch was NOT involved in your study?!

Sean Craven said...

Okay, Zach, I was gonna give you a hard time about your title -- but I've changed my mind. Now I challenge you.

Dude, you need to aim lower. If the British gutter press can do it, so can you.

Our nation's honor is in your hands.

Andy said...

Regrettably, neither Raquel nor anyone aside from me, Darren, or Ewan was involved. . .