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STEGOSAUR CHEEKS..



> On Tue, 10 Oct 1995, Terry Colvin wrote:
> 
> > Jurassic Park , the film was also a rare example of a film being more 
> > correct than the book , e.g. , Stegosaurii in the book , have cheek 
> > pouches (like a squirrel), when all of the specimens that have been 
> > found TO DATE do not , again , this does not mean that they didn`t 
> > haver them , but on the balance of evidence , the film wins , with no 
> > cheek pouches in sight .
> 
> I thought the Stegosaurus specimen discovered by Carpenter and Small--the 
> same one that "proved" the arrangement of plates and thagomizers--also 
> showed evidence of (to quote a Dinosaur Society newsletter) "an armor 
> basket or shield of small bony knobs protecting its throat." Maybe 
> Crichton misinterpreted the "armor basket" as cheek pouches?
> 
> ----- Amado Narvaez
>       anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu
> 
OK, it would best come from a professional, but I might as well make the point
that this entire thread is *very* muddled. JP the book was not, in any way,
'ahead' of the game as regards its stegosaurs: it's been known for quite a
considerable length of time now that stegosaurs, like all the genasaurians, had
cheeks analogous to those of mammals (actually, this idea was reasserted by
Galton in the 70s having fell into disfavour during the earlier part of the
century [need dino historian to back me up here!]).

Crichton was NOT (not.. NOT!!!) breaking any new ground in describing cheeks in
this animal: he was merely coughing up what little factual material he learnt
from the Bakker book (the only dino book he actually *read*, BTW). Yet, he
fouled up massively by having _Triceratops_ completely cheekless.. and,
furthermore, things are even more confused by the film where the _Triceratops_
has replaced the stegosaur and is ill due to ingesting stones that, were it a
real _Triceratops_ (or any neoceratopsian), it would not have done.. but that's
another story (and illustrates well the hazards of swapping over characters in
books and films without accounting for all the associated sub-plot that clings
to the book's character... pant pant..). I think we've touched on this before...

Crichton's stuff on cheeks was not anything to do with the gular ossicles now
well known in the stegosaurids. Moreover (I'll stop using it soon;-), I find the
stegosaur character in the book very silly - its tail droops, it snuffles like
a giant hedgehog, and ..so on.

Err, apologies to Tim Isles of Victoria University (Can.).

"..yup, there's creatures in the heights of the upper atmosphere, the depths of
the seas, and in the mists of the deepest forests of which you haven't even
dreamed.."
"People say there aren't monsters, but there are"
"You know, they say that we loose 3 species every day. This kinda makes you
wonder how many new ones we get"   (40 % if I'm generous)

DARREN NAISH