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Re: Elasmosaur necks (was mamenchisaur necks)
From: Larry Dunn <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: STARSONG@prodigy.net <STARSONG@prodigy.net>; email@example.com
<firstname.lastname@example.org>; email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wednesday, July 22, 1998 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: Elasmosaur necks (was mamenchisaur necks)
>Ray, aren't the rules different on land than in the water?
I was adressing Brian's assertion that long necks evolved for high
browsing, so, I referred to long-necked marine reptiles (anyone who wants
the actual statements, please see both Brian's post and mine) . No, Larry,
the "rules" are not different. Physics is physics. Of course, aquatic
organisms operate in a denser fluid, but this planet's atmosphere is a
I like what you tell me of Judy Massare's ideas about feeding, and the
avoidance of a bow wave produced by the larger part of the body could well
be a valid idea. It just happens, however, that this same long neck would
in fact lessen the flatness of the main bow wave and, thereby, reduce
resistence to straight-ahead motion in water and thus reduce energy
expenditure in swimming. You see, the long, slim, tapering neck and head,
when in forward motion, prepares a path of already laterally-moving water.
The body then moves along that same path with appreciably less resistence.
As to whether the necks of marine reptiles with long necks, "...were not
used to wriggle about lunging in all directions", I think any theory is
better at suggesting what an organism MIGHT HAVE DONE, than what it DIDN'T
DO. But, let's not get into 'theory theory' ;-).
>ps: Ray, are you the same Ray Stanford from Texas who was waiting for
>the UFO's in the 1970's? I'll bet you get asked that all the time.
>Your e-mail address made me suspect so. Do you recall this fellow, or
>are you him? If so, any luck?
First off, I apologize to listers. This is not a UFO list, its a dino
list. But since this question has been asked ON LIST, I hope each of you
will spare me a moment to breifly explain. If anyone desires further
information, please address me OFF list. Thanks.
Actually, Larry, I'd preferred you'd worded that something other than,
"...waiting for UFOs..." No I was not a member of any UFO cult in Texas,
"...waiting for UFOs..." a la the recent suicide debacle. I am well known
around the world, however, for pioneering studies of UFOs with electronic
and optical monitors. You see, I didn't "wait for UFOs". Heck no! I
chased them (and very successfully) with instruments! I was tired of
unsubstantiated 'tales told in the night', rumors, hoaxes, and unfounded
speculation, some of which I had been taken in by as a teenager. It was
clear to me and to others that if UFOs constitute an important set of
phenomena (whatever the nature, 'E.T.' or not, physics and only physics was
the way out of all the B.S. and into comprehension. No, not kooky
"bio-detection devices". I assembled a $2,500,000 array (that may not be
much money now, but it surely was back then) of instruments including a
sophisticated automatic recording magnetometer (sensitive in the extremely
low-frequency range), a recording gravimeter (detects and records variations
in g values), spectrographic camera, radar, and a load of other
sophisticated systems, fine telephoto cameras incuded, of course. This
really got up momentum and well-financed in 1973.
The results across the years have been more than simply substantial.
With help of several physics Ph.D.s, the very surprising results have been
quietly studied, analized, and evaluated as to importance. Before much more
time has passed, the data and results will be published in an appropriate
context. I CAN tell you this: Everyone will be surprised, believers and
unbelievers, alike. Speaking of context, in this dino-list context it is
not appropriate to further describe or explain.
For some of the paleontologists and others that may be on this list,
this whole UFO subject may well be contra-paradigm. You've not had a chance
to see my project's results, so that is understandable. Please forgive this
intrusion. Everyone will hear about our results when all is in readiness,
contra-paradign or not -- but not on this list. Meantime, please evaluate
my work in tracking Maryland's cretaceous dinosaurs upon its own merits.
It's a universe different than tracking UFOs, but, heck, a guy's gotta keep
his feet on the ground. :-)
Hope this helps, Larry.