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Re: A load of questions

>- Whatever happened to Segosaurus' "second brain"?
[Text deleted...]
>       One can still read about the old ideas of sauropods living in water
>       to carry their weight, and Parasaurolophus using it crest as a snorkel,
>       but Stegosaurus' "auxiliary brain" seems gone.

This depends on what one reads. There are several books that relate the new
ideas about dinosaurs -- but you might have to seek them out. For example:

     Concerning _Apatosaurus_: "Skeletons are found distant from large bodies
     of water, and from the fossils of aquatic animals such as fish and
     crocodilians. This indicates that _Apatosaurus_, like most sauropods,
     spent much of its time on land, contrary to its once-popular image as a
     swamp dweller." (Lessem, Don and Donald F. Glut. _Dinosaur_
     _Encyclopedia_. Page 39.)

     Concerning _Parasaurolophus_: "One notion, now discarded, was that the
     hollow crests had external nostril openings to accommodate an aquatic
     life style, allowing the animal to breathe while the head was submerged.
     This, however, was an impossibility, since there was no nostril at the
     tip of the crest." (Ibid. Page 359.)

     And concerning _Stegosaurus_: "Recent studies have shown that these so-
     called extra brains were energy stores for muscles, not nerve tissue or
     secondary brains." (Ibid. Page 447.)

These are examples of the "new look" for these dinosaurs from one book. Other
current books -- but not all of them -- also reflect these updated ideas. Be
sure to look for recent copyright dates and practice safe purchasing
techniques. ("Buyer beware!")

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>- What is a Utahraptor?

        Order: Saurischia
     Suborder: Theropoda
       Family: ?Dromaeosauridae
         Size: 6.5 meters (20 feet) long
       Period: Late Cretaceous, 125 million years ago
        Place: Eastern Utah
         Diet: Meat

_Utahraptor_ was discovered by James Kirkland in 1991, identified by its 25-
centimeter-long (nine-inch) claw core. While other material was discovered in
Utah in 1975, it was not officially described and named until 1993. (Ibid. Page

My understanding of the _Jurassic_Park_ _Velociraptor_ interpretation (from
hearing Don Lessem speak on the subject) is that Steven Spielberg felt an
accurate representation of _Velociraptor_ was too small and unimpressive for
his fictitious purposes. Thus he scaled _Velociraptor_ up to about twice its
actual size -- and perhaps twice its actual intelligence, too. _Utahraptor_ was
discovered after the film was in production. Someone then remarked that
_Utahraptor_  was a case of life imitating art. It would be inaccurate to say
the _Jurassic_Park_ _Velociraptors_ were _Utahraptors_ since _Utahraptor_ was
essentially unknown at the time.

I hope this helps.

*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*=- -=*
 Douglas E. Goudie                  To know all things is not permitted.
 ac941@leo.nmc.edu                               -- Horace (65 - 8 B.C.)