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A Real Plateload



Greetings all,

Today will be my last posting for a 10 days or so, que applause track.

The reason for this absence is I am returning to participate in the dig of
the upper Hell Creek Formation in northwest South Dakota. We will continue
to extract a fairly well articulated Edmontosaur, and begin new efforts at
another quarry site containing phacychephalosaur material. Count on an
extensive report when I return to the fold.

Now back to the thread about stegasaur plates and the likelihood of motion;
I feel I still must be falling short in my efforts to explain my thinking.
If there was no muscle or tendon attachment points, to these plates, there
would have to have been a "floating" arrangement within the thick skin
supporting them. So, if these plates "floated" they would at least wiggle
with each step the animal took. Pigmentation, vascularization for
temperature regulation, or any other factors aside the likelihood of some
motion, controlled or no, seems impossible to avoid. Doesn't it seem at
least possible that although this movement may have been small, in relation
to let's say the tail, there would have been some? I have yet to read a
response that provides facts to refutte my position. Again I ask, if a
stegasaur arched its back wouldn't this tighten the skin and change the
plates orientation as compared to a relaxed state? If not why?

Yes I am very aware of the applications of pigmental migrations within
extant species today, even us humans. I may well be missing the boat, but I
thank the God of evolution for endowing me with the ability to see past a
singular point and think abstractly. My statements about plate orientation
regarding heat transfer were only meant as a possible example of the use of
such limited movemnet, not the prime directive of such motion. IMHO there
has been no voice addressing the central theme of this thread, that without
solid anchor points motion would not only be possible but unavoidable.

Speculation at work? You bet! However my speculations are based on my
understanding of the evidence, and are in the form of a quest for more
knowledge. I still feel that this form of speculation serves a purpose
whereas the blue sky thinking popularized by a well known paleontologist
only seems to splitter an already delicate field of study. Yes I may indeed
write a small volume dealing with speculation, and its proper application
to the study of dinosaurs. I think the suggested title, "Lego my Stego"
would miss the point as badly as the points in my previous postings were
missed. A better title might be "Selective Rebuttals for Personal
Glorification or Revenge Without Constructive Additions or Insight".

As I have said many times before, I am more than willing to admit to being
wrong, as long as the evidence can be presented to prove it. I feel I was
wrong about the T-rex falling study, and I may be wrong about stegasaur
plate motion. All I ask is for  factual evidence, presented without malice.
I may have not only missed the boat, heck I may not even have a paddle!

Roger A. Stephenson
aka   the artist fromerly known as Lightwaves
aka   Joe Friday
aka   the guy lucky enough to go to SD & dig up dinosaur bones for two
years running.