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delta 18O

A recent posting noted the significance of del18O in dino bones.  I assume
that this posting referred to the paper by several authors including 
Horner on the del18O ratios in a T. rex skeleton (maybe Sue i can't recall
that point for sure).  A recent analysis of that work by Hilary Stuart-Williams
however, has raised several doubts about the conclusions.  Essentially, he 
found that the highest del18O values were located in the centre of the 
deposit, with the bones further away having lower values.  There was not
a relationship with distance away from the body centre but FROM THE DEPOSIT'S
CENTER, indicating that diagenetic alteration was responsible for the 
del18O signatures seen.  This does not argue against homeothermy, merely
says that in this skeleton diagenetic alteration has obscured the data 
that would say if the animal were homeothermic.  Hilary reported on this
at the Buffalo ARchaeometry Symposium in Feb 95.  If you are interested
in these results email him at esr@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca.
he is working on publishing this analysis, but i am not sure where.

Bonnie Blackwell,                               bonn@qcvaxa.acc.qc.edu
Dept of Geology,                                (718) 997-3332
Queens College, City University of New York,    fax:  997-3349
Flushing, NY 11367-1597