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Re: Raptor question



dwlewis wrote:
> Has anyone ever found Utahraptor or Deinonychus or Velociraptor
> footprints?

   Generally (very generally-ok?), footprints are very rarely as easy to
identify with a specific animal as actual fossil bone or teeth are. 
Most paleontologists will give footprints of dinosaurs found their own
special species names, with their own suffixes or prefixes generally
indicating this species is known by a footprint.  The few footprints
positivly identified with specific dinosaurs are generally from areas
where that particular kind of footprint could have been made by no other
animal contemporary with the animal than the one identified with it
(such as the recently stolen Stegosaur footprints from Australia).  It
is very difficult to identify footprints for sure for these particular
animals if more than one animal species may be of that size or type from
the area.  
   To complicate the issue, for example, younger dinosaurs make smaller
footprints but you wouldn't be able to tell the age of the animal from
it's footprint only, so you have footprints being made by the same kind
of animal of different sizes because of age, the same kind of animal of
different sizes because of gender, and then to make matters worse, there
might be a similar animal living in the area that would make the same
kind of footprint even though the rest of the animal LOOKS very
different (like if a Chasmosaur and a Styracosaur walked right next to
each otehr and made footprints.)
     Velociraptor would be especially unlikely to have footprints
identified to it since it lived in a desert area, and the best way to
make fossil footprints is either in mud or ash, and neither was very
common in Ancient Mongolia where Velociraptor lived.

> What is "Wyomingraptor"?
Dr. bakker has re-examined an Allosaur he has had in his museum for a
while, and decided it is deserving of it's own species name, so he has
named it Wyomingraptor.

-- 
           Betty Cunningham  
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