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more obfuscation



Just to throw my $0.02 into the discussion of Jurassic Park.  I liked it
a lot; clearly it has the best movie dinosaurs ever (although with
competition such as The Land Unknown, The Lost Continent, and the 1960
version of The Lost World that ain't saying much...Still there IS the
original Lost World, and King Kong, not to mention One Million Years BC
and Gwangi, so maybe the competition isn't QUITE comparable to that facing
the US Dream Team basketball squad in Atlanta...but I wander....)
     Back to the point:  Apart from making the Dilophosaurus look like
a Chlamydosaurus on steroids, I thought the dumbest scene in the movie
was where the raptors were manipulating the doorknobs.  The inference that
such theropods were pretty brainy is based largely on estimated brain/body
size ratios of said critters, which overlap those of birds.  Another way
of putting this is to say that Deinonychus et al. might have been roughly as
smart as emus, if brain/body size ratios mean much.  This is a scary 
thought.  Having worked a lot with captive emus, my impression is that the
interesting question isn't whether dromaeosaurs, troodonts, etc. could
turn doorknobs.  The question worth asking is whether, given an open door
with no obstructions, a raptor could go through it without splatting against
the wall on either side.  Yikes.