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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex? [long]

At 05:22 PM 2/7/96 -0500, Tompaleo@aol.com wrote:
>In a message dated 96-02-07 13:11:28 EST, you write:
>>   I've seen that argument before and I've seen real paleontologists (not
>>fans like me) completely refute it.  Unfortunately I don't recall what their
>>refutation was, but it was enough to convince me.
>I did not say that I was for or against endothermy in dinos but my point was
>that there are ways to deduce paleometabolism if not crudely. Granted that
>the results have been contradictory and debateable but at least there have
>been attempts at testing hypotheses.

   I wasn't referring to endothermy, I was refering to the argument that
insulation wasn't needed because the Mesozoic was so much warmer.  It that
was the case, wouldn't a legitimate question then be "why didn't the mammals
lose their hair?"

>I make no claims to being a real
>paleontologist <sic> yet, but my perusal through many professional journals
>and publications have lead me to the aformentioned statements.  All I am
>really saying is that the absence of evidence conclusively proving the
>existence of feathers is more compelling than circumstantial evience,
>speculation and wishful thinking proves that there were feathered dinos. It's
>really just  a healthy dose of scientific skepticism ;-)

   BUT.... absence of evidence IS circumstantial evidence.  Regardless,
absence of evidence is only compelling, as far as I'm concerned, if there
can be a strong case made that skin/feather/hair impressions should be as
common as the growing grass.

   There is very little evidence for arboreal and upland dinosaurs.  Should
we therefore conclude that there were no arboreal dinosaurs and no upland
dinosaurs, rather than take into account the odds of their fossilization and
come to a different conclusion?

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