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Re: Questions about dinosaur skin

=09What you relate is about all I knew from a trip to NZ and a=20
program on Discovery or the Learning Channel this week. That is not true,=
here is some more info from a book entitled Unique NZ. The tuatara,=20
(Sphenodon punctatus) has a family tree that runs back before T rex. It=20
is the only member of the order Rynchocephalia and altho called a lizard=20
could equally correctly be called a reptile, crocodile or turtle for its=20
branch broke up into all of those twigs.
=09Ithas a crest of soft spines down the back. It looks like a=20
lizard. Its skull looksmore like a turtle than a lizard. It hasno teeth=20
as such but rather serrated bone, a very primitive adaptation far=20
predating socketed teeth. 2 to 2=AB ft long. Egg laying. Its ribs resemble=
the abdominal plates of a turtle, the next oldest type of animal living=20
=09The pineal gland is best developed in the T. It is outside the=20
brain and has a well defined lens, pigmented retina, etc. This gland=20
shows some sensitivity to light shined on the pineal spot.=20
=09It lives in burrows with a petrel, is cold blooded and lives for=20
perhaps a hundred years or more. It is rigidly protected under NZ law and=
is in no dangert of extinction. And thats more than you wanted to know!=20
Much of the above liftedfrom Pownall, G., 1970., Unique New Zealand.

Ray McAllister, Prof (Emeritus) Ocean Eng., FAU, Boca Raton, FL 33064
Diving Dinosaur, Geologist/Oceanographer/Ocean Engineer, 43 years SCUBA
mcallist@gate.net (305) 426-0808, Author Diving Locations, Boynton/Dania