[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Bakker lecture
>Robert Bakker was down here today in SF for a lecture and book signing.
I'll be hearing him in Toronto on the 28th, but I can see already why he
He spent a lot
>of time pointing out similarities with modern birds. The following
>are interesting tidbits from the lecture:
> - Bakker insists that "Brontosaurus" is the correct name, and
> that "Apatasaurus" is wrong.
I have seen his arguments on this - unfortunately, they seem to ignore the
ICZN. Let him propose it as a "nomen conservandum" or whatever they call it
- or is this not possible?
> - Presented lots of data showing that an animal's top speed
> is 10x its walking/cruising speed:
> Cruise Speed Top Speed
> ------------ ---------
> Dimetrodon 1 mph 10 mph
> Elephant 2 mph 20 mph
> Polar Bear/Rhino 3 mph 30 mph
> Based on footprints, T.rex walked at 4.5 mph --> ergo, top speed
> is 45 mph (!)
Whoa there, folks. (a) who has timed a Dimetrodon lately? (b) mammals ain't
dinos. (c) elephant's, rhinos and polar bears ain't bipeds. (c) can every
animal that walks at 3 mph run at 30 mph?
T.rex also had several large bird-like air sacs --
> implying that T.rex was specifically well adapted for high
> respiration needed to run fast. Not to mention that it could
> probably have survived at 36,000 feet :-)
Shouldn't that be "T. rex MAY HAVE HAD air sacs"? Did he really say
unequivocally that they had them?
> - showed that most of the weight and strength of sauropods is near
> the hind legs and the base of the tail. The front part of the
> body and neck were very light and filled with air sacs. This
> makes it *very* easy for it to rear up on the hind legs.
I buy the first part, which makes sense to me - but again, air sacs don't
fossilize, folks. I am quite prepared to believe that dinos may have had
them and that bone pneumatization is suggestive of their presence, but is
there any reasonto go further?
> - In arguing for colorful dinosaurs, he made the generalization that
> animals that:
> 1. have color vision and,
> 2. have daytime courtship
> are likely to be brightly colored. I was going to point out
> to him that humans meet both criteria and yet are rather drab
> colored :-)
As are many birds. I am more inclined to think, with no evidence
whatsoever, that dinos may have had colourful parts of their bodies (look at
a cassowary, for example, which seems to be the model for most Oviraptor
reconstructions these days). A day-glo Ultrasaurus does seem like a
>He actually covered a lot of ground in that lecture. In the Q&A at the
>end someone asked the extinction question. Bakker reiterated his disease
>theory, and pointed out that some very delicate land animals survived,
>so it could not have been the meteor that caused it.
Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
Home: 1825 Shady Creek Court Messages: (416) 368-4661
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 Internet: email@example.com
Office: 130 Adelaide Street W., Suite 1940
Toronto, Ontario Canada M5H 3P5