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Re: dinosaur endothermy (long)



Greg Paul wrote:

> The claim in this venue by Terry Jones that there is some sort of
> religious fervor in favor of dinosaur endothermy is ironic.

I think I can shed some light on why a comment like that might have
arisen from Terry.  Note that later on Greg also wrote:

> I am close to finishing a study that pretty much refutes the
> argument that dinosaurs could not have had RT. Also, a few birds and
> mammals breath through nasal passages as narrow as seen in some
> dinosaurs.

Note that Greg is simultaneously trying to argue that a) dinosaurs had
RT's, and b) RT's are not important to debates about thermoregulatory
physiology.  If point b is true then why is Greg bothering with a?  To
a person trying hard to be dispassionate about this debate, it looks
like Greg has settled on an answer (dinosaurs are endothermic) and
he's using every weapon at his disposal to convince everyone else.
Sorry, Greg.

It appears to me that all of the arguments Greg has put forth tying
hard evidence to statements about dinosaur physiology are equivocal.
In all fairness, I think the same can be said of RT's if for no other
reason than because people haven't had as much time to test the
connection between them and endothermy, though they do appear to me to
provide the strongest connection yet.

As a recent subject line said, though, I think one thing is pretty
clear.  Dinosaurs weren't mammals.  Of course, by the same token they
weren't lizards either.  Personally I don't feel comfortable
concluding anything else on the subject with any particular
conviction.  Your mileage may vary.

--
Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)