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Bird rumors and T. rex news

        A fellow grad student just returned from the SAPE (soc. avian
paleo. and evol.) meetings out east, and had some juicy info to relate to
me; I thought I'd pass it on down the pipeline...

Confusciusornis has turned up in abundance in China; estimates range from
50-100 new specimens discovered lately. Dating of the surrounding sediments
is still a very very hot topic for debate.

Not to mention a few other new Cretaceous bird taxa from China, which were
a big hit at the meeting apparently. I'll try to get more info.

Enantiornithines seem to keep turning up in association with titanosaurid
remains, which has provoked much creative speculation of course...

And other news...

Greg Erickson, another Berkeley grad student, just had his latest paper
accepted by Nature; it provides estimates of T. rex bite forces among other
things. Most of this is hush-hush secret stuff, but the T. rex bite force
estimates seem to be very high: equal to or more than those for any for
modern crocodiles. Rumor has it that Nature editors have hinted that the
paper may be good enough to make the cover. I'm eagerly awaiting this one!

That's all for now.

(note my e-mail address change if you happen to be keeping track)

                        John R. Hutchinson
                  Evolving Evolutionary Biologist
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                  3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg.
                University of California - Berkeley
                        Berkeley, CA 94720
                      Phone:  (510) 643-2109
                      Fax:    (510) 642-1822