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Re: Dinosaur Tracks (long) (fwd)

>     One can deduce a great deal from track-ways even if the individual
> tracks are not first-class, primary impressions.  Now, a quote of the last
> three sentences of the afore-mentioned NATURE article by Martin Lockley:
>     "This empirically derived data base helps us define and measure spacial
> and temporal incompleteness in the skeletal record of terrestrial
> vertebrates.  Thus, we can focus on which parts of the fossil record must be
> described ichnologically, osteologically or by both methods. This holistic
> view shows that many questions about foot morphology, posture, locomotion,
> behavior, terrestrial vertebrate palaeoecology, stratigraphy
> and information biases cannot be fully understood without consideration of
> the data encoded in the track record."
        It always makes me a little ill when Martin goes on about using 
tracks as paleoecological tools.  He often makes leaps from the tracks to 
the ecosystem that he cannot substantiate with evidence (indeed, often 
makes no attempt to do so...).  However, in theory, I think his above 
comments are valid.

Josh Smith
University of Pennsylvania
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
471 Hayden Hall
240 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA  19104-6316
(215) 898-5630 (Office)
(215) 898-0964 (FAX)