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Dry Mesa "bird?"



        Just a note, before Linda (my better half) and I left we
catalogued a large number of previously unavailable elements belonging to
small Dry Mesa guys (in the range of probably 300 to 500 specimens), many
(ok, I won't lie, most) of which were unidentifiable by us to anything
other than "not
sauropod, nope definitely not sauropod here".  The upside (to us) was
that we *did* find numerous sauropod juvee elements (with the help of
Dewey Ray Wilhite of course) and we filled many many drawers with little
specimens.  It would be absolutely delightful if someone wanted to spend
some time looking at the material out there!  Among the beastie
options are:  Dryosaurus and/or small nondescript ornithopods, tiny
theropods and/or birds, believe-it-or-not juvee stego elements (we tagged
some but in retrospect probably missed many {stupid non-air beasts...}),
pterosaur, croc, fish, mammal, amphibian, and probably stuff I don't even
know about.  There are
a number of pterosaur elements that have been referred to Mesadactylus
ornithosphyos (I believe that Paleopteryx or whatever it was called is
not valid), but Jensen has repeatedly expresed his beliefs to me that
there really is bird material from Dry Mesa.  I have seen some
questionable material but, hey, what's a sauropod guy really know about
birds (other than that, as air-sac
possessors, they are automatically cool).  I believe Jensen has a
point.  Why?  Well he laid out some bird stuff and then some Dry Mesa
stuff and then asked me what the Dry Mesa stuff was.  It looked just like
the bird to me.  Before I invoke the wrath of "those-who-know-more" I will
be the FIRST to admit I do not know where to begin (ok I do, the
vertebrae  of course, but Jensen showed me limb elements) to properly
evaluate the material (in fact we left the bird off of our most
up-to-date Dry Mesa Faunal list), but I think that for someone who has
time to kill it would be a fun (though taxing I *assure* you) time....

Now back to our regularly scheduled sauropod chats...

BC