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Questions about dinosaur skin



Some questions from a dermatologist (human, not veterinary) who is taking a
dinosaur workshop at a local community college for fun: (1) is what is known
with certainty about the skin of dinosaurs limited to information derived from
fossilized skin impressions? (2) do the variously-patterned tubercles and plates
found in the skin impressions of dinosaurs differ significantly from those found
in the now-living descendants of archosaurs? (3) are dinosaurian skin scales
exclusively epidermal like those of birds and mammals, with no dermal scales as
seen in fish? (human dermatologists mistakenly categorize genodermatoses with
abnormal skin scaling as ichthyosis rather than reptilosis or herpetosis)  (4)
did epidermal skin scales develop in dinosaurs and other reptiles to prevent
desiccation in a terrestrial environment? (5) is the fact that epidermal scales
allow infrared radiation from the sun to pass through the skin of significance
for the maintenance of a constant dinosaurian body temperature? (6) did
dinosaurs have multicellular glands analogous to human sebaceous and sweat
glands? (7) does anyone have definite knowledge of the color of dinosaur skin?
(8) did dinosaurs have chromatophores in the dermis which were regulated by
hormones and the nervous system?  (9) what are the chances that at some future
time mummified dinosaur skin may be discovered which might be rehydrated,
processed and stained for examination under the microscope, such as has been
done with human mummies?  These questions are being posed after personal study
of "Dinosaurs The Text Book" by Spencer Lucas, a chapter on comparative
dermatology in Rooks' Textbook of Dermatology, a computer search of the National
Library of Medicine's Medline, and some articles on mummified human skin I saved
from dermatology journals.  Bruce Howard - 70410.3262.@compuserv.com