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Re: soft tissue



In a message dated 97-09-10 04:00:01 EDT, ornstn@inforamp.net writes:

<< Highly, highly unlikely (in fact Horner objected strongly when the first
 draft of the JP Velociraptors had snakelike tongues).  Neither of the
 living archosaurian groups, crocodilians or birds, have snakelike tongues.
 The closest living analogue to a dinosaur tongue would be the tongue of
 birds (of course, as birds are probably dinosaurs themselves it isn't
 really an analogue at all but a genuine dino tongue!)
 
 Bird tongues are very variable in both form and function, but they are
 quite different from the tongues of snakes. >>

My knowledge of the anatomy of reptile and other tetrapod groups decreases
exponentially with their distance from Dinosauria, but I understand the
forked tongue operates in conjunction with a Jacobson's organ whereby the
reptile tastes or smells its environment. There's no evidence for a
Jacobson's organ in dinosaurs, so there was almost certainly no forked
tongue, either. The Jacobson's organ/forked tongue is, as I recall, an
apomorphy of squamates (snakes and lizards at least).