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Thanks to T. Holtz I was able to get the Witmer et al paper. First off I must say that I was a bit disappointed in it. It really didn’t go into detail of why they think the way they do. There wasn’t many illustrations/photos (which more than likely due to lack of space in the article for Science). That said, I’ll hold off any thoughts on sauropods until the main paper is published so that I can fully understand what they are saying. As I was thinking about it I visualized in my mind the snout of a T. rex. The majority of dinosaurs have a ‘bar’ on the nose. This ‘bar’ is from the premaxilla to the main body of the skull. If you cut off that ‘bar’ that part of the skull will look mammalian, Hmmm… On the lower edge of the naries is a ‘shelf’, what this does is add space and surface to the nose, again Hmmm… Ok, what if Witmer et al is right and there was muscle, tissue, etc that extended from the ‘bar’ (which may act as the cartilages area in mammal skulls), to the ‘shelf”? This would give the snout a much more ‘normal’ (as in what has been traditionally illustrated) snout. The nasal area (what would that be called if it was filled in with ‘stuff’?) could have been flush to the skull, in a similar manner to mammals. Dinosaurs are not mammals or lizards but that doesn’t mean that that area wasn’t filled in with something. Crocodilian’s can close the nose to go under water, and there is much more room on the skull of a dinosaur and that it also may have been able to close the nose completely when eating. This does bear more thought…(which means I may have to rethink how dinosaurs looks and have to reiterate an article that I did for Prehistoric Times, oh well).



Tracy L. Ford

P. O. Box 1171

Poway Ca  92074