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Re: Ankylosaurs and "mimicry"
Kenneth Carpenter writes:
>As for the comments by Ron Orenstein:
>>The trouble, of course, with speculation like this is that it is
>That's OK in science. It is a healthy way of expanding our horizons and
>stimulating thought. Face it, no one would have thought why tail club
>mimicry couldn't have happened unless someone suggested that it could.
>Who knows what testable hypothesis might develop from someone out to
>disprove Tony's hypothesis?
Well, it's certainly fun, may well be insightful or even brilliant, and
certainly has value in stimulating thought, but it's still a speculation,
not a hypothesis. I would argue that it is based on so many unknowns (the
perceptive abilities of therapod predators, to name just one) that I cannot
imagine how a testable hypothesis based on it could be developed (which may
say more about my lack of imagination than it does about the idea). My
biggest problem with it is that mimicry is so difficult to distinguish from
our subjective impressions of resemblance in living organisms that
speculating about it for dinosaurs may have little more than entertainment
value. Mind you, I like being entertained....
>The idea was presented by Keith Rigby Jr. at the Austin SVP. Actually,
>he was mistaken in a number of points. First, the soft tissue that
>would have filled the highly vascular tissue would have made the club
>resilient, not brittle. Keith forgot the soft tissue and got hung up on
>the club as a bone object. Second, the surface area of the club in
>thermoregulation is much, much less than the surface area of the scutes,
>which are vascularized. I've had a manuscript on all this in Horner's
>Behavior volume for over 6 years now. It is obvious the book will never
>appear, so I'm going to pull it, and two other papers soon.
Thanks for clearing this up. Please understand that in asking about this I
was not supporting it!
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
Home: 1825 Shady Creek Court Messages: (416) 368-4661
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 Internet: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Toronto, Ontario Canada M5H 3P5