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RE: Various subjects



From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of David Marjanovic
 > 
I'm back from tremendous modem problems (so I got 170 mails at once and one 15 minutes later).
 
 > When I asked what furculae are actually good for I should have written I know of the spring-like mechanism in  
> recent  flying birds; I mean what they could have been evolved for. Neither boomerang-shaped ones (Archaeopteryx, 
> Sinornithosaurus, Tyrannosauridae, Confuciusornithidae) nor broad V-shaped ones (the plesiomorphy, secondarily evolved  
> in Dromaeosauridae sensu stricto) could have been useful for that. 
 
They MIGHT have been useful as a different sort of spring, but no one has dealt with the biomechanics of the situation yet.
 
 
- What mammals were there around in Africa at the time?
 
Actually, one of the biggest questions in paleomammology right now!!  A good Latest Cretaceous Mesozoic mammal fauna might go a long way to solve some current problems in mammalian paleontology & systematics (e.g., phylogenetic position of and timing of origin of the tethytheres) 
 
 > - Don't you put the Bermuda Triangle as something mystical. It seems that this is simply an area where methane  
> hydrate  is decaying, creating occasional blobs of methane gushing upwards. Ships can't swim on foam, and planes get  
> serious problems without oxygen, so both sink and disappear.
 
URGH!!!  Note that this is off topic, but there is ZERO (count them, zero) evidence for any statistically significantly more common loss of ships in the "Bermuda Triangle" than anywhere else on the planet.  There are no patterns needing explanation here.
 
 Where/when/why have the few ornithomimosaurian teeth I quoted become a complete skeleton?
What age is the Kimmeridge Clay? Kimmeridgian? 
 
Yes. 
 
P.S.  Finally got to here the They Might Be Giants song "Mammal" today.  To my knowledge, the only song that includes a reference to multituberculates (under their alternate name Allotheria).
 
                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): 301-405-0796