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RE: PROJECTILE URINATION?



> Projectile urination in Postosuchus.  Ok, lets believe for a moment that
> somehow Postosuchus developed some sort of mammalian urination
> method etc,
> but come on... it shot the pee about 4 m away... since when did
> archosaurs
> come equiped with supersoakers in their butts?

:-S

Yeah, this scene pissed off (sorry, sorry) the consultants on the show.
There is no phylogenetic justification for it (in fact, mammalian style
urination is preliminarily rejected based on the fact that _Postosuchus_ is
a reptile!).  The inspiration was, of course, big cats.

> Muttaburrasaurus is not an iguanodontid.  But apparently it
> looked just like
> one.  Additionally, there are some 'carnosaurs' running around Australia,
> even though the "Allosaurus" astragulus has been shown to be probably
> coelurosaurian.

Actually, no one has established that this partial astragalus (the ascending
process is broken) it is probably a coelurosaur: avetheropod, yes, but not
clearly a coelurosaur.  The original script had it listed as "Allosaurus";
it got bartered down to "polar allosaur" for the BBC version (and the
lacrimal horns got trimmed prior to animation!); and we got it to plain old
"carnosaur" for the U.S.

> There was no parental care shown except in Tyrannosaurus, yet the
> interviews
> with paleontologists repeated again and again that since
> crocodiles and birds
> cared for their young it can be expected that ALL dinosaurs did
> too.  Even if
> that's not the case, the interviews contradict the CGI...  In my
> opinion the
> show could have used more demonstrations of it.

Actually, the interviews were brought in to help clarify, modify, or correct
what was shown (and thank goodness the "Nessie" sequence was removed... a
story for another time).  But in fact parental care is shown for
_Laeallynasaura_ and _Torosaurus_ in the show.

> And my number one nit to pick, is that not a darned one of those
> dinosaurs
> had any speck of feathers.  I understand scientific
> conservitivism and trying
> to be accurate, but all of those coelurosaurs should have had feathers on
> them, or at least some dinofuzz.  Actually, the show was quite
> liberal with
> its interpretation of behaviors, such as the sentries and viscious rival
> gangs of Laealynnosaura portrayed as TRUTH, one wonders why none of the
> dinosaurs were given feathers even though feathering dinosaurs
> was considered
> quite a viable theory when the show was in its infancy.

I did bring this up with the animators back in January 1997 (that is, there
was the serious possibility that the dromaeosaurs should be feathered).  The
problem was that animating feathers was far too difficult for the time.
Additionally, when they were actually doing the animation there was still
some dispute over the covering of _Sinosauropteryx_, and _Protarchaeopteryx_
and _Caudipteryx_ (much less _Sinornithosaurus_) were still not yet known
(or known in detail, in Protarchie's case), so the animators felt justified
in not animating feathers for their reconstructions.  When the
Protarchie/Caudi paper came out, they rushed to put in the feathered crest
on _Ornitholestes_.

Incidentally, one feathered dinosaus (_Iberomesornis_) was cut out of the
American version.

> In other news, the US treasury announced that it is designing a
> completely
> new series of banknote to be released in 2003 that will abandon the
> traditional black on front, green on back pattern that has been
> on US cash
> since the 1800's.  Instead the notes will be colored.

Good to hear that we are joining the 20th Century (a little late...).

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-314-7843