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Re: gastrolith research



Remember that the contents found in the skeleton may not represent the contents
as swallowed, since carbonate rocks would probably be dissolved by gastric
juices.
-Gus Derkits

Oliver Wings wrote:

> greetings colleagues,
>
> i'm currently starting a ph.d. project (with dr martin sander in bonn) about
> gastroliths of sauropods from tendaguru in tanzania and the morrison
> formation in the usa.
> of course i have to get a general view about gizzard stones and have to
> examine these stones at marine reptiles as well. i will compare terrestrial
> and marine tetrapods to get a better understanding of the whole topic. even
> if the diet and probably the function were so different...
>
> some questions for my project are:
>
> - are all these stones really gastroliths?
> - which methods of investigation are possible to proof the authenticity of
> gastroliths (laser, electron microscope etc.)?
> - which purpose did they had?
> - in which part of the digestion system where these stones be found?
> - are there the same characteristics of the used rock-types / size etc. at
> different reptile species and even in one species?
> - why do not all individuals of one species have gastroliths?
> - which predication is possible for the nutriment and for the process of
> digestion?
> - is it possible to decide the origin of these rocks and, if so, is it maybe
> possible to prove any migrational movements of these animals?
>
> well, there are still a lot of questions to answer...
>
> ... and to do so, i have a few questions for the scientific community:
>
> who is doing some research on gastroliths at the moment or has done it in
> the past?
> who is interested in cooperation?
> which museums have (preferably well documented) material and would me let
> work with it?
> who knows about any unique or unusual or just interesting specimen with
> stomach stones?
> what about strange stomach contents (e.g. fossilized wood)?
>
> i know that research on gastroliths will be difficult and that some results
> of my research may be scanty. nevertheless i believe this topic may help to
> reveal some interesting new facts.
>
> oliver wings
>
> -----------------------------------
> "MUTATIO SOLUM PERPETUUM EST!"
>
> Oliver Wings
> Institut fuer Palaeontologie
> Loewenichstr.28
> D-91054 Erlangen
> Germany
> phone:   +49-9141-2933
> Fax:     +49-9131-8522690
> Email:   olliwings@hotmail.com
> http://www.geol.uni-erlangen.de/pal/staff/wings.htm
>
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