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[jonest@ava.bcc.orst.edu: Re: [n9435712@henson.cc.wwu.edu: A curious contradiction regarding RT]]



[ As I mentioned, I was looking into Guy Leahy's statements concerning
  the now overly discussed Ruben et al. _Science_ paper.  Below is Terry
  Jones' response to Guy's message.  Everybody brace yourselves for
  impact... -- MR ]

  Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 17:36:40 -0800
  From: jonest@ava.bcc.orst.edu (Terry D. Jones)
  Subject: Re: [n9435712@henson.cc.wwu.edu: A curious contradiction regarding 
RT]

  Leahy's communication re turbinates in nodosaurs is both misleading
  and irresponsible.  As I said before, the dinosaurs we used were the
  best available. We are well aware of the nodosaur skull to which
  Leahy referred. In order to be most useful for our study, dino
  skulls had to be preserved three dimensionally with minimal
  bilateral distortion. Leitch's nodosaur skull does not meet these
  criteria. Leahy also misleads readers by stating that the nodosaur
  skull shows evidence of "turbinates," thus leaving the impression
  that it showed evidence of RTs.  It does not.  There is clear
  indication that, in life, the animal possessed ethmo- or OLFACTORY
  turbinates only.  There is not the slightest indication that RTs
  might have been present! I remind readers that olfactory turbinates
  occur in ALL amniotes, whether ecto- or endothermic.  Such
  structures are known from many fossilized taxa, including phytosaurs
  AND dinosaurs (see Fig.4 in our SCIENCE paper). We resent Leahy's
  implication that somehow we intentionally left specimens out of our
  study that might have been at variance with our conclusions.
  
  Leahy's comments re narrow nasal structure in fulmars only serves to
  further mislead readers. The portion of the nasal passage that
  houses the primary RTs in endotherms is the cavum nasi proprium, or
  the nasal passage proper.  Cavum nasi propria in endotherms,
  including Leahy's fulmars ARE broad and expanded to accommodate RTs.
  The tubular section of the procellariform (e.g., fulmar and other
  tube-nosed birds) nasal passage (to which Leahy refers) corresponds
  to the nostril and vestibular region--an area that doesn't house the
  primary RTs and, therefore, has no particular reason to have
  undergone expansion.
  
  This is one of the problems with discussion lists on the
  internet--anyone can say whatever they want, even if it is grossly
  inaccurate and incorrect--there is no peer review.  A good example
  of this is the recent flood of messages regarding the "feathered"
  dinosaur(s).  One person sent a message that said the specimen
  showed feathers, then a host a people assumed it to be true (even
  tho' they had never seen it for themselves).  However, this was not
  even published in a peer reviewed journal (nor has it been at this
  point).  The peer review process may not keep all incorrect
  assertions out of press, but at least it removes a fair portion of
  it.  The moderator of a list can try to weed out the chaff, but to
  act as sole reviewer for all messages is an impossible task, and
  since this dinosaur list was created for discussion, there is and
  should be some leeway granted.  However, no one should take
  "discussion" as a license to broadcast misinformation.

[ A note of clarification -- expecting (in retrospect quite rightly)
  that I would never be able to filter messages based on "quality", as
  moderator I've never tried. -- MR ]

  TDJ :-{)
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      Terry D. Jones                             Voice:  541/737-6120     
      Oregon State University              Fax:      541/737-0501          
      Dept. of Zoology                         JONEST@bcc.orst.edu
      3029 Cordley Hall
      Corvallis, OR  97331-2914
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