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Re: Science of JP and The Lost World/ Stephen Czerkas

Gigi Babcock wrote:
> > Ray McAllister <mcallist@gate.net> wrote:
> > My big question is "Can a mosquito's blood machine penetrate a dino
> hide?".
> According to a talk presented at the Kimball Art Center in Park City, Utah
> on January 29, 1994, entitled <Reconstructing Dinosaurs>, sculptor Stephen
> Czerkas had determined that dinosaurs did not have particularly thick skin.
>  In fact, I believe that he used the words "extremely thin" in this
> context.  He stated that his examination of fossil dinosaur skin led him to
> conclude that sauropod skin was a mere 1/16" thick!  Most unlike the
> elephants to which they are often compared. 

        Currently I'm working on many hadrosaurs with skin from Mexico. 
At least 50% have skin preserved. All the skin is preserved as 
impressions. Most of our diverse hadrosaurs are in brackish water 
deposits. Several have oysters encrusting the skin impressions. To 
preserve skin in water so that oysters have time to grow on it is tough 
to imagine. I believe it drys to rawhide first, but I doubt it was very 
thin to do this. I would guess about as thick as an elephants at least. 
No skin I know of is preserved such that thickness can be measured 
directly. The wrinkling is from drying and thickness would decrease 
during that process such that some tight folds may be possible. We 
observe this also. I wish S. Czerkas would publish some of his views and 

> Stephen Czerkas, as you may know, has done a great deal of research (thus
> far unpublished) on the subject of dinosaur skin impressions, including
> helping excavate Carnotaurus impressions.  He even textures his dinosaur
> sculptures with skin molded from fossil skin impressions.  

I applaud him for that.

Jim K.