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re: Godzilla: Not a Dinosaur, But Very Cool!
Mary Kirkaldy wrote:
<A field examination of two specimens of Godzilla showed:
Dentition: 19 teeth in the upper jaw, 17 in the lower jaw.
(from Roarin' Action Godzilla)
Four digits on the hind feet--one held off the ground.
Five rows of plates along the back, tapering down the tail.
An odd carapace/muscular breast plate.
(Godzilla with Powerstyle Battle Bite)
It does look like an Alien/Stegosaur hybrid.>
Now, I've got some real good field footage of this animal, both in its
native habitat (water, would you believe), and introductory habitat
(namely, New York). My first observation was that there seemed to be a
closer relationship proposed between the Common (or is it Green?)
Iguana, rather than the Marine Iguana. Now, further footage has shown a
none tridactyl arrangement of the manus, with a separate first digit
(thumb) that does not appear to be opposable. Secondly, the pes lacks a
hallux. The raised digit lies outside the grounded digits, possibly
digit IV or V, which would immediately dissqualify it from the
Theropoda. This is in fact quite similar to non dinosauriform
archosaurs, and I agree with Larry Dunn's hypothesis in saying that the
overall build and appendages are more like those of poposaurs, or
perhaps postosuchids. But that mandibular symphysis does seem to be an
The plated dermal armor also does seem to be more similar to that of
ankylosaurs, but with so much convergence in the gojira captured on
film, it is likely (more so, I think) to be a mutated [duh] form of the
ossified dermal armor of crocodyliforms, or perhaps those self-same
poposaurs and postosuchids.
Anyway, that's my non-professional opinion on a animal that does seem
to be a superbly gigantic reptilian. And in case anyone wants to know, I
thought the movie was great. The gumball footage, and the "romp through
the city" [actually in commercials, so I'm not giving anythign away]
showed great humor and innovation. 'Nuff said, 'case I spoil it for
others who have not seen the footage, and want to.
Jaime A. Headden
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