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Tom Holtz writes, in response to John Rafert:
"My take on the problem follows what Ken Carpenter said about six years
ago at SVP: unless you get the ribs mounted correctly on the specimen,
the rest of the question is moot. Without the ribs mounted properly
unfortunately, many museum mounts are incorrect), the pectoral girdle
wont be in the correct position. Without the pectoral girdle in the
right place, the limbs wont be mounted in life postion. Ugh!"
Now my question is why can't you tell how the bones ought to be
connected? (Mind you, I am a student of the humanities working in what
can perhaps be described as a social sciences organization, and who has
no background in anatomy). Don't bones line up in one correct way?
Couldn't you tell about the ribs from their curvature (or what is left
after fossilization)? I realize that today's new dynamic dinosaurs are a
departure from what most of us saw in museums as children, but it is my
understanding that in order to make the bones fit the conception of
dinosaurs as slow moving tail draggers, they were frequently broken or
otherwise forced into a position that conformed with the preconception?
I am not (conscientiously) trying to sound like an idiot, nor fan the
flames of an anatomical jihad, but with today's advanced forensic
techniques, why is it so difficult to determine how the basic skeleton of
a dinosaur fit together. I can see the difficulty with something like
stego's plates or tail spikes, but with something as essential as ribs or
a leg, I am lost.
Blaise "It's been a long day and my mind grows weary" Considine