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RE: Rough & tumble world (was Re: "Dinos of a Feather" )



At 11:33 PM 3/2/99 -0800, George J. Leonard wrote:

>What surprises this humanist/amateur (who began this thread) is that 
>neither Dr. Tom, Patrick Norton nor Betty Cunningham even care to tip 
>their hat to the picture of T Rex that John R. Horner put out in Dinosaur 
>Lives (1997 Quotes below). Horner is certainly an authority.

Well, yes, but his primary of expertise is on hadrosaurids, and growth, and
ontogenetic behaviors, and the like.  Not to say that he hasn't made
important insights in other aspects of paleontology (he certainly has), but
he isn't a tyrannosaur specialist.

>Was Horner 
>merely being provocative, speaking to a popular audience? Horner 
>describes advising Spielberg, then repudiates the film's Rex and indeed, 
>the entire model of the agile, "rough and tumble," predatory T Rex. Here 
>are quotes: 

[quotes deleted]

See my article in the forthcoming DinoFest volume for rebuttals of these points.

(Incidentally, tyrannosaur eyes are IMMENSE.  They only look small because
the rest of the skull grows faster than the eyes do, an aspect of allometry
long known for modern animals and well established for dinosaurs through the
work of Jack Horner).

>This matters to me because I'm a year and a half into a novel (past third 
>draft) which for once would not bend the animals to help the plot. It's 
>tougher, but it would be worth it.  But I find such disagreement among 
>the experts even about the fundamental nature of a comparatively 
>well-known animal like T Rex, my wish to be "accurate" seems increasingly 
>quixotic. 

Welcome to Paleontology... :-)

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