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DINOS OUT-OF-TIME



> I just had someone tell me about a program on The Learning Channel about
> 40 million year old dinosaurs found in Australia.  Did anyone see this?
> Is it for real?  Or it this another "Mysterious Origins of Man" thing?

Dinosaur remains *have* been reported from Tertiary sediments at various
locales, invariably they are near certainly re-worked and not autochthonous, as
Sloan et al would have us believe as regards their Palaeocene dino teeth. Eric
Buffetaut and colleagues have even described French archosaur teeth (Cret crocs
and dinos) that have been reworked into Miocene sediments, while Ventura (1984?)
reported a Miocene ichthyosaur from Malta. 

Creationist fuel? Evidence that Mesozoic reptiles survived into the Tertiary?
Practically all post-K dino etc material consists of teeth - very resistant
objects that can be reworked, reworked and reworked again with little difference
in appearance. Argast, our own Jim Farlow and others, artificially 'tumbled'
teeth for the equivalent of 1000s of km - these teeth still look fresh.
Substantially more evidence than a few teeth are needed to indicate the presence
of *living* dinosaurs in an otherwise dino-free stratum.

All this is irrelevant, however, as countless examples of out-of-time dinos are
just cases of ignorance: most people think that anything extinct is a dinosaur.
A prime example is the set of stamps issued by the British Post Office in 1991
to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Owen's creation of the Dinosauria: their
advertising campaign had as its slogan 'Meet the mammoth with British stamps'. 

I and some colleagues were sceptically excited to hear some years back of
dinosaurs found in the Permian - a find that would very much upset a fair few
notions. Turned out the beasties were pareiasaurs.

It's most likely, IMHO, that '40 million year old dinosaurs' refers to birds,
lizards, crocs, maybe even marsupials. Let us know.

"The hotel guide: 'Forget your wife, you're on your own'"
"She's so hot, she'd give a dog a bone!"   (Hope you don't mind)

DARREN NAISH