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Re: A Tenn. Time Out

> I hate to say this, Ace, but I'll bet you dollars to donuts that
> what you're seeing is not dino skin, but the imprint from the trunk
> of a "sacle tree" or lycopod.  There are numerous trees from the
> Pennsylvanian to Permian period which have trunks covered in leaf
> scars which presents as rows of diamond shaped or rectangle shaped
> "scales."  Imprints of these trees are common in Tennessee, and are
> frequently mistaken for "fossil crocidile skin."
> Mark

Dear Mark:
I think I should follow up my first response to your  mail with a more
complete explanation. 
The Lycophytes or Lycopods appeared in early  Devonian rocks. They  are the
ancestors of modern club mosses and as you know they formed large extensive
scale tree forests during the  Carboniferous period. During the Permian and
Triassic periods there was an important transition from the Lycopods to the
Conifers and Cycads. During the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous, Conifers
and Cycads  dominated. This was during the reign of the dinosaurs.

The scale trees of the late Paleozoic had a typical diamond shape bark. This
is very different from the 6-sided tile-like pattern of dinosaur skin. For
example, refer to "Dinosaurs; The textbook" by  Spencer Lucas page 183  for a
good illustration of dino skin.

The place where I found the dino skin impression near the Checkerboard mesa
is stratigraphically very high in the succession of Jurassic age cross
 bedded sandstone at Zion. For example, Zion lodge is located near rock that
is stratigraphically 2000 feet below the rock that hosted the skin
impression. All the sedimentary rocks at Zion are horizontally stratified. 

Upper Paleozoic rock at Zion ain't there. If you could put a drill  hole into
the horizontally bedded rocks at Zion (starting the hole next to the lodge)
it would penetrate down through the Triassic Chinle formation and into the
upper Paleozoic limestones before it got anywhere near the Carboniferous
If those scale tree-bearing Carboniferous rocks had been stratigraphically
above my fossil site I might have worried about your letter, but they are way
down deep in the earth at Zion. 
Thanks for your interest in my story.