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Re: Sue and "family"

stuart.milliken@geofuel.north.net (Stuart Milliken) wrote: 

>   This message pertains to something I read about the "family" found in
>the vicinity of Sue.(BHI 2033). To set the record straight,once and for
                                                            ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ 
>all,Sue was found with very partial remains of what may have been two
>juvenile tyrannosaurs,and the rear half of an Edmontosaurus,not a
>"daddy". These remains were probably all deposited at the same location
>by water and may or may not have been associated in life.The Edmontosaur
>may have been Sue's last meal,who knows?
KelMHDino@aol.com responded:  

>Not to argue with Stuart, but my information disputes his report.  I am told
>Sue was found with three other tyrannosaurs...as Peter Larson said (quoted in
>Louie Psihoyos' book, "HUNTING DINOSAURS,") "Perhaps it was Mom, Dad, Junior
>and Baby."  She was found near and Edmontosaurus annectens, and some say
>remains of that last meal were detectable, fossil wise.  But I'm only a
>writer...quoting other writers.  I'll have to check with my BHI sources
>tomorrow to be certain.

   It's not like I want to take on the role of a diplomat in this discussion,
but it seems that neither side has any real evdence to either 1) set the
record straight, or 2) be certain of the facts.  All you can be certain
about is that you both have an opinion as to how those bones accumulated
  The Cloverly Formation Dinonychus accumulation is another good example of
uncertain causual agents.  Ostrom maintains that the presence of a mudstone
facies (rock type within a formation) implies an over-bank setting, and
therefore the carcasses could not have accumulated by currents (because
muddy deposits indicate slow water currents, or still-water).  But mudstone
can also imply a flood deposit from streams that have topped their banks and
are now flowing over a broad floodplain.  Carcasses can be dumped far from
the actual channel/point bar.
   In order to determine the most likely situation, detailed mapping of the
orientation of the skeletons, detailed mapping of the rock layers, and a
detailed accounting of the number of bones of each animal as well as the
condition of the bones must be done.  I have no idea whether "Sue" was
excavated in such a thorough manner.  If the animal wasn't excavated this
way, all the hard evidence to prove a death-assemblage is lost forever.  You
don't just plaster the bones up and take them out of the ground.  It is a lot
more involved than that.