Heady Dinosaur Behaviour

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Heady dinosaur behaviour questioned by scientists, as reported in New Scientist, 15 May 2004, p15. Pachycephalosaurs, literally "thick headed dinosaurs", have distinctive thick rounded domes on their skulls, which were thought to be used as battering rams in dinosaur duels. Mark Goodwin of the University of California, Berkeley and John Horner of Montana State University have studied the bone structure of juvenile and adult pachycephalosaurus skulls and found that the adult skulls do not have the spongy radiating bone structure needed to stand up to head butting behaviour. What they did find were "dense, highly variable, specialised fibres" within the outer layer of the skull indicating the bone was attached to a substantial outer covering. Goodwin and Horner suggested that the dinosaurs had some kind of ornamental structure on the tops of their heads which acted as a visual signal.

Editorial Comment: The standard story about head-butting dinosaurs fighting over territory or mates was accepted without question because it fitted the evolutionary world view of life as an endless struggle where only the tough survive. However, the Biblical world view is that God created a good world where animals did not originally fight one another for scarce resources. This has led sceptics to challenge creationists to explain why many animals have characteristics that seem so well designed for aggressive behaviour.

There are two parts to the answer. The first is that closer study reveals another more user friendly function, as in this case. This probably applies to many other fossil creatures that were arrayed with spikes, horns and bony shields. The second part of the answer is that after the world degenerated following the Fall of Man and Noah’s flood, and the coming of winter, animals did begin to fight over the ever diminishing food supply. Features they already possessed, such as large horns, could now be used in the new phenomenon of survival of the fittest. (Ref. pachycephalosaur, dinosaur, bone)

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