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Re: Questions about dinosaur skin

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> [major part snipped] 
> overlapping scales of lepidosaurs (tuataras and squamates).

When I was a small kid back in the very early '50's, I was given a kid's 
natural history book which first whetted my interest in dinosaurs and other 
things ancient... and probably also helped lead me to study archaeology.  Of 
course, that whole chapter of my life is now ancient history, but the 
fascination remains.  

Among the critters mentioned in the book were a "living fossil" called 
tuatara.  This was the first that I heard the term "living fossil," and the 
concept grabbed me.  

Unfortunately, I have seen very little else since about the tuatara or its 
ilk.  I understand if memory serves that it is an ancient form of lizard or 
lizard relative, that it is now found on some islands off New Zealand, that 
it has been said to have a pineal eye, and that it is a surviving remnant 
from dino days.

I promise that I'm not trying to get info for any sort of research paper! :>  
(I'm so swamped with my current development project at work that I barely 
have time to read my e-mail!)  However, if anyone can fill in some of the 
rather substantial gaps in my knowledge about this strange little critter, 
I'd be much obliged!  :D

Skip Dahlgren
Applications Programmer, Office of Educational Development
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
Phone: 501/296-1087; FAX: 501/686-5905
e-mail: sdahlgren@liblan.uams.edu; bcsskip@aol.com
-ex-archaeologist; lifelong afficionado of dinosaurs and their latter-day kin