Oh, great. Now I’m going to be thinking about this all day.

Especially since it has such nice illustrations of the possibilities.

I also have to point out that cephalopods don’t have these awkwardnesses. Tentacles solve a lot of mechanical difficulties.


  1. woozy says

    How do ostriches mate? I’m not sure what the issue is. Are birds genitalia significantly different than mammals? In terms of position and mating?

    I’d have assumed one laid down but I’d assumed that without any thought. Still it doesn’t seem a strange or troublesome hypothesis.

    Why is there a character lurking on the floor in the last panel.

  2. DonDueed says

    woozy, that’s a cameo. It’s Dina from the great webcomic Dumbing of Age. She’s a dinosaur nut, and also a bit of a ninja.

  3. lumipuna says

    I just did some research because I was obsessively curious about how polar dinosaurs could have incubated their eggs. If the climate in the few known paleoecosystems in Cretaceous polar regions was something like modern Scandinavia, it’s hard to imagine that mere environmental heat during summer would be sufficient for development. Adults presumably could survive the winter if they were large and/or had decent body cover. Notably, cold-blooded reptiles were more or less absent in these paleoecosystems, while non-avian dinosaurs are thought to have been more or less warm-blooded.

    It seems that:

    1) Non-theropods buried their eggs in soil and didn’t incubate them – at least not with their body heat. Some may have built heat-generating compost heap nests, I guess?

    2) Many or most of the smaller non-avian theropods did incubate like birds. This wasn’t generally feasible for species weighing over 200 kg. Some oviraptors in 1000 kg category would sit inside a circle of eggs to provide some heat and protection.

    3) we know only little about the climate in Cretaceous polar paleoecosystems, and the ecology of polar dinosaurs.

  4. says

    If Pharyngula exists in the Dumbing of Age universe I would imagine Dina has visited here at least a few times.

    For those not familiar with it Dumbing of Age revolves around alternate versions of characters David Willis used in his earlier webcomics such as It’s Walky and Shortpacked! Most of the characters are freshmen students at Indiana University(which exists in the real world). There’s a strong autobiographical element, as one of the main characters, Joyce Brown, is a home schooled non-denominational fundamentalist, mirroring Willis’s own early life.

  5. John Harshman says

    Of course you’re familiar with the relevant literature on Oxyurinae, which means that last option might not be out of the question.