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More catching up on DinoNews from 5-12 September and a few new ones.
SPINOSAURUS: The Ultimate Dinosaur Book says this thing is found in Egypt,
Morocco, and Tunisia. So, are there some second and third specimens that
were not destroyed in the bombing? President Mubarak is a swell fellow and
will let you go look in Egypt I'm sure, so long as you're willing to put
the thing into the Cairo Museum when and if you find it. Still seems to me
that this is one worth looking for.
NEW ICZN STANDARDS: DinoGeorge, Under III-A, wouldn't we still be saying
"Brontosaurus" instead of "Apatosaurus"? Would we revert to the more
commonly used name once the new standards go into effect? Is it possible
to sue in the World Court under Amicus Dinosauria and get a decision? <g>
TYRANNOSAURS AS COELOSAURS: Forgive me, Dr Holtz, I had yet to read your
fascinating message about new ideas where the Tyrannosaurs fit into the
tree before sending the short version of the tree. Could you provide (in
English, not Latin) some of the "identifying points" that establish this?
Please note I do not doubt you, I simply want to learn how to figure such
things out.
DINO DNA: Ok, we'll never really get enough to build a dino. BUT, could we
get enough to do some OJ-style genetic marker tests? I read recently that
about half of the kitty cats so long assigned to the Feline half of the
cat house are in fact members of the Panthera family, as established by
DNA traces. (The Feline/Panther division was previously done by which ones
roared and which ones purred, or rather by the glottal bone which defines
that function.) Turns out that some of the purring cats are genetically
closer to the roaring cats than to the other purring cats. Anyway, if they
can tell that about cats, could we aspire to one day get enough dino DNA
to run a few tests on Segnosaurus and settle that one once and for all?
Could this also resolve the Tyranno placement question?
POSTING FREEDOM AND BYTE-WASTING: You've probably worked this out by now
(I'm so far behind reading), but I have to agree. If it's not at least
close to dino, just don't bother posting it. I confess that I once sent
some newswire files of homonid fossils, which are certainly closer to the
subject of dinos than politics, and I did get some "why is that here"
mail. And it shouldn't have been there. My apologies, won't do it again.
Life is short, and if we're here for dinos, let's stick to dinos.
That said, could I mention another really byte-consuming and space-wasting
thing that happens all too often, that being the very long "quoting" of
previous messages followed by "I agree" or some other short reply. I guess
everyone is using software that facilitates such quoting, but would it
really be that much harder to type "I agree with George about putting x
into Y taxon" instead of the current form? Did the education system of the
world give up the idea of answering in a complete sentence that mentions
the original question once computers could actually quote the original
question? Sometimes it's really useful, when you're answering point by
point, but could everyone think it through a bit?
And finally, my pet peeve of all time, the long long long "signature"
lines listing everything from addresses and fax numbers to cute sayings
and philosphical comments. Some of those 'signatures' are 10 lines and
growing. Couldn't everyone hold it to two lines with just the essentials?
IN ALL OF THESE CASES, self-policing by each poster would seem to do it,
and the sysop could send a private Email advisory if it doesn't. I don't
think the idea of government involvement was serious, or that asking
people to stick to the subject constitutes censorship. I am (and have
been) a sysop on several computer networks for years, and things always
seem to work better when each discussion group sticks to its knitting.
SAUROPOD NECKS: Presuming you never settled this, Lost World has one of
the more original theories, that the TAIL evolved as a defensive weapon
and the neck evolved to balance the tail. Doubtful, but original.
BRONTOSAURUS: Bakker uses that name because he likes it better than
Apatosaurus (so do I for that matter). He does have a point in that the
same guy found both of them, and that guy (Marsh, wasn't it?) spent his
whole life calling the beast a Brotosaurus. Personally, I think it's a
code-word by which Bakker fans can identify each other. If you use the
name Brotosaurus, everyone knows where you stand in regard to your
admiration of the Great One. (He did have a lot to do with the modern
resurgence of dino interest, at least for me.)
HOERNER AND SCAVENGERS: He's dead wrong. We human beings are NOT
scavangers. We did not "find" something "dead" while walking down the
sidewalk. We TRADED for it to the guy who killed it. Back in the caves,
the best flint-knapper never had to hunt; he traded cool spearpoints to
the guys who were better hunters. But that didn't make him a scavager
because he found his dinner laying in his in-box, not any more than the
paycheck I got for my work and cashed at the grocery store makes me a
scavanger. Hoerner has scavangers on the brain. He seems to think the only
way he gets noticed is to say something that upsets and annoys the entire
dino community (that our beloved T-rex was not the ancestor of the hunting
eagle but the scavanging vulture). It's the Paleo version of shock radio.
SAUROPHAGANAX: Could I trouble someone for the years in which this
allosaurid lived and where they dug him up so I can put him in my tree?
A radio ad for the the discovery channel at 3pm-C on 4 Oct heralded a
special presentation on "the descendants of the dinosaurs: crocodiles and
komodo dragons". Oh well, I guess we were all wrong about those fossils...
LN Jeff (Martz) says: No theropod ever had sauropod genes.
Uh... Didn't both Sauros and Theros come from the same place (Sauro-Thero,
or Saurischiasaurus, the so-far unseen ancestor of all Lizzard Hippers?)
and hence, didn't both theros and sauros have the same basic generic
source? After all, the long-necks of Sauros and S-necks of Theors come
from the same source. In which case, if SauroThero had genes 1 and 2 and
the Sauros turned off #1 and the Theros turned off #2 and the Segnos show
both #1 and #2, then could not the mysterious Segnos have (as I noted in
the three options I listed) have either:
1. Descended from a Thero who suddenly remembered gene #2
2. Descended from a Sauro who suddenly remembered gene #1
3. Descended via unknown link from SauroThero who had both #1 and #2?
Hardly looks impossible to have been #1, although I personally favor #3.
Indeed, has not it been conventional wisdom to date (in at least some
circles) that Segnos are a branch of Theorpoda? Wasn't the title of that
discussion thread "Why Stang belives Segnosaurs should be removed from
Theropoda?" or something like that? I believe Stang's theory is:
4. Descended from Prosauropods via a missing link dino not yet seen.
TREE: Thanks for all of the comments so far, especially from the real
scientists like Dr Holtz who have taken much too much of their time to
provide additional information. I'm still evaluating their input.
(Just what is a "taxa" anyway? <grin>)