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Re: errors in Jurassic Park

From: "King, Norm" <nking.ucs@smtp.usi.edu>
 > That kind of display is more 
 > for intimidating prospective competitors (such as for mates or 
 > territory).  Why would a carnivore try to intimidate its next meal?

Or for *attracting* mates.  Still, unless it had sexual designs
on Nedry it would scarcely start its courtship ritual!!
 > 5.  You shouldn't think of a brachiosaur as a "big cow" (like the 
 > paleontologist said to the kids--what was his name?).  The movie showed 
 > the brachiosaur chewing by moving its jaws from side to side, like a cow 
 > or horse chews.  Dinosaurs couldn't do that--their jaws moved just up and 
 > down, so they had to find other ways to grind vegetal matter (gizzard 
 > stones and swing-out upper jaws, for example).

True, though not all dinosaurs chewed exactly the same.
Sauropods, like Brachiosaurus, probably didn't chew at all, just
pluck and swallow, and let the gizzard grind it up.

Ceratopsians and hadrosaurs did chew, and quire thoroughly, but with
an up and down motion, as you say.

Now to add my pet peeve:

At the beginning, before going to the Park, the paleontologist made
statements about dinosaurs he had no way of knowing (since they were
behavioral statements of  sort which could leave no fossil correlates).

This is a fundamental *procedural* error with respect to science,
since science is a method based on using observations to develop
and establish results.

Bret, if you can teach your students to sk the question "how would
he know that" of anything they hear atributed to a scientist, you
will be doing the world a favor.

swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com              sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.