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News story: Did We Get Dinosaurs' Noses Wrong?
Thursday August 2 2:00 PM ET
Did We Get Dinosaurs' Noses Wrong?
By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - An Ohio researcher is proposing a nose job for
the dinosaur. He believes the
fleshy nostrils of the huge animals were at the front of their
long snouts, not back nearer the eyes as
experts have assumed for more than a century.
``The nose is a remarkable multipurpose organ,'' said Lawrence M.
Witmer, a dinosaur researcher at
the College of Osteopathic Medicine of Ohio University. ``It is
involved in a whole range of
physiological functions. ... It just makes more sense'' for it to
be at the tip of the snout, just above the
Witmer, author of a study appearing Friday in the journal Science,
said that since the 1800s dinosaur
scientists have assumed that the noses of the extinct animals were
up just below the eyes. This was
where the nasal passage dips into the skull, and most experts
assumed the outside opening to this
breathing airway would be nearby.
Since the tissue and cartilage of a nose are too soft to fossilize
and never have been part of recovered
dinosaur remains studied by scientists, said Witmer, researchers
made an educated guess about where
the dino nose belonged.