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Re: Fingers crossed

Post-Mortem Glycosis (rigor mortis), as far as I know (1 semester of Muscle
Biology) tends to act in a very predictable manner. Hence, why forensic
scientists are able to use rigor mortis as a tool in  determination of time
of death. If this is the cause, it might also shed light on the nutritional
state of the specimens in question at the time of death. The shared
condition of metatarsal II and III in fossilization is probably much more
related to functional morphology, but an animal that is depleted of either
ATP or calcium at the time of death will enter rigor mortis much more
quickly and that could influence final positions of body parts (and taste
and texture for you steak lovers). If this is true, these specimens would
likely have died with a similar plane of nutrition.  Just a thought.


-----Original Message-----
From: PTJN@aol.com <PTJN@aol.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Cc: qilongia@yahoo.com <qilongia@yahoo.com>
Date: Wednesday, August 12, 1998 12:04 AM
Subject: Re: Fingers crossed

>In response to my original inquiry, Jamie Headden wrote:
>< Once that animal died, and decomposed, the ligaments would have gone, and
>the metacarpal, which as otherwise connected, would have been free to shift
>about in relation to the rest of the hand.>
>If the hand bones simply "shifted about" after death, the final position of
>the fingers would be random across a preserved population.  That does not
>to be the case.  The same fingers, II and II, are crossed in generally in
>same position.
><The same structure, incidentally, is seen in dromaeosaurs,
>oviraptorosaurus as well.>>
>All the more curious.