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some questions on Sue (which Chris hates)- was Re: documentarian seeks direction and advice



chris brochu wrote:
> A few answers to some of the questions I worked on directly:
> 
> >Supposedly the CAT scans of Sue's skull showed a huge  olfactory bulb. How
> >can you look at a cavity of a 67 million year old skull and  tell that one
> >part of an animal now one has ever seen is its oldfactory bulb.  Could you
> >look at MY skull and say, "Wow, that guy smells great!"
> 
> Using a comparative approach.  All nonavian reptiles have a pair of
> depressions under the frontal bone, sometimes encompassing parts of the
> lacrymal and prefrontal.  In all living reptiles, the olfactory bulbs go
> there.  We infer that the same is true for extinct reptiles, including T.
> rex.  And in tyrannosaurids, they are very large, implying either that
> smell was very important (the reason touted by the media) or that very
> large theropods needed very large olfactory bulbs as a scaling factor.

from the SVP talk that Chris gave about Sue's Schnooz even an
un-educated person such as myself could see that the CAT scan was
recreating the shape of some kinda organ- it had stems like a brain does
with bilateral symmetry for the stems and bulby-bits that were placed on
each side of the head.  Apart from a wierd sinus of some sort or perhaps
really enormous lymph glands (in the wrong place) I don't know of any
facial organ they could have been besides olfactory bulbs.

> >There were a  couple of Sue's bones that they'd never found before in
> >another T-Rex, so how do  they know where they're supposed to go or that
> >they belong to Sue at all? Or  maybe Sue isn't really a T-Rex because
> >she's got these new bones?
> 
> In some cases (e.g. the stapes), they were attached to other bones (the
> skull, in the stapes' case).  In others, the mode of preservation and size
> are precisely what we would predict had it come from Sue - true for the
> furcula, for example.  Your point is a valid one, and sometimes we cannot
> tell whether a given bone belongs to a particular individual; our
> confidence that what we've mounted on Sue belongs to Sue is very high, but
> can never be perfect.

I re-read the nat geo article on Sue, and wondered a couple of
things....

-How does one know the orientation of gastralia?  Is there a tendon
attachment of some sort?  Would the gastralia simply be associated with
ribs so Sue's reconstructed placement is best guess?  Would there be
some sort of physical tendon/muscle attachement on the gastralia to
relate them in space to the ribs?

-If the CG 3d leg-mirroring that was discussed had to do any sort of
alignment corrections on the deseased leg bone when it was scanned to
create it's partner (I would suppose the partner would have been created
as a non-deseased leg bone)

-What did you guys do with the log that used to be in Sue's head?   Was
the log a Cretaceous log or a later log?

-Betty Cunningham


-- 
Flying Goat Graphics
http://www.flyinggoat.com
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)
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