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Turbinates and welcome Mark Sumner

Hi all,

Let me among the first to welcome Mark Sumner to our forum. As a fellow
member of the dig team on the upper Hell Creek formation last summer I can
honestly say he's a great guy. Mark is a geologist, published author, and a
father. I consider him a friend, and comrade. Between the two of us we
created more work for the rest of the crew than they wanted or needed. (We
kept uncovering more bones while trying to clear the ones already exposed,
and even the team leaders expressed disgust with our "luck"). :-)

I was under the impression, maybe ignorantly, that turbinate structures
were involved in the sense of smell and in controling water loss. If this
is the case then the absence of such structures in larger tyrannosaurids
might suggest a lowered danger of dehydration 'cause of the greater body
mass. If that was the case how do these structures relate to the sense of
smell? I thought T-rex could smell very well.

Speaking of t-rex, in the April issue of Discover there is a short article
about the danger of a fall. The article seems to say t-rex wouldn't run at
top speed for fear of fatal falls, and discribes the falling impacts with
some detail. I have to question this because any animal, knowing it's about
to plow a ditch with it's face, would try to turn a shoulder or something
to avert just such injury. I don't think a huge brain is needed to practice
self preservation. Besides that, lions risk deadly injury in every attack
on large hooved prey, and still they do attack.

Roger A. Stephenson