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The Dolfster (was Re: New ref)



At 10:40 AM 10/16/98 -0400, Ralph Chapman wrote:

>By the way, if you've never read any of Seilacher's work, please do. The
man has done some incredible stuff - although being Dolphed, as someone at
Dinofest found out after giving a talk, can be a very uncomfortable
experience. He tends to ask questions that go to the center of a research
project and test the base of the researcher. Is a neat guy to talk with.

Seconded!!  As a Seilacher student myself, I must admit a lot of his ideas
seem very weird at first until he starts to lay out the argument and the
evidence.  I agree with him, for instance, that essentially every life
restoration of an ammonite you've ever seen is just plain wrong: these
weren't squids or octopi stuck in coiled shells, but part of their own
specialized ?planktivorous radiation of cephalopods.

I can also say that, although I was never severely "Dolphed" in class, I
still remember going on field trips with him where we'd meet up with other
classes.  He'd let the other professor say their piece about the outcrop,
wait a moment, and then begin (in his Swabian accent) "You realize, of
course, that you are completely wrong."

(I've also seen him eat an oyster, live, right out of Long Island Sound.
With polychaetes crawlling on it (okay, on the outside of the shell, not
inside).  Grim...).

P.S.  The nickname "Dolfster" was bestowed on him (or at least I first heard
it from) "Cap'n" Kirk Johnson, paleobotanist currently at the Denver Museum
of Natural History.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661