Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dead Baby Dinosaurs!

A wonderful new paper on a unique dinosaur assemblage out of China. Over 20 dead ornithomimids (Sinornithomimus dongi), all more or less the same size and age. Apparently, they are a bunch of juveniles that wandered into a swamp together, got stuck in the mud, and died there. The site, it is argued, demonstrates that young ornithomimids formed their own herds (juvenile sociality) away from the reproductively active adults as, for example, young ravens do today, and stayed apart for a certain portion of the maturation process.

One noted caveat is that the homogeneity of these remains may be less real than a result of the fact that smaller animals don't get stuck in mud so easily, and larger animals are often powerful enough to work themselves free of it.


Anonymous said...

But I don't understand . . . the science minister doesn't believe these creatures even existed (or at least he's not going to say on religious grounds ;).

bigcitylib said...

No, Joseph, he believes that Adam rode around on them in the garden of Eden.