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Re: T. rex Sense of Smell



In a message dated 97-02-21 03:18:26 EST, you write:

<< The one thing that really bothered me in JP was the T. rex being directly
in
 front of Grant and the kids and not smelling them.  According to Horner &
 Lessem in their book _The Complete T. Rex_, the structure of the nasal
 portion of the skull suggests a moderate to good sense of smell. >>

To come up with a possible answer to explain the above...  The animal is
removed 65 million years from its environment.  It has probably not eaten
humans and therefore is not entirely certain if this meat is really food.
Some animals are very specific about what they will or will not eat.

Also, to a senisitive smeller, the car itself would be producing MANY
powerful smells that might overwhelm the olfactory sense, and confuse the T.
rex with unfamiliarity.

This all depends on how much of smell behavior is based on instinct and how
much is learned behavior...  Modern animals generally have little fear of
skunks... until they learn.


Regards,


Walt

P.S. I am recovering from spinal surgery (Oh, the perils of being a
not-yet-fully-developed obligate biped) and am catcing up on a MASSIVE
backlog of Email.  Please forgive If I bring up older topics.


-------"Oh, Bother!"  said Pooh, "We'll have to nuke them from orbit!"-------