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A little off subject...Re: Sue had no wishbone...

The following are strictly my opinions, spurred from comments by

        Many people show disdain for amateurs because they are not members of 
"Academic" or "Professional" circles of paleontology, or because they are
private collectors, please take note:  Almost all paleontologists are
amateurs; most paleontologists don't have a degree at all, but spend most of
their time working and getting by, only finding and studying fossils as
weekend or fun type activities.  In point of fact, one of the finest
paleontologists I know (George Blasing) has never taken a formal class in
the subject.  And he has garnered the friendship and respect of people like
"Dr Bob" Bakker.  Also, I have never met a single paleo scientist (pro or
amateur) that was NOT a private collector.  We all have our own fossils.
Actually, my biggest problem is with museums and academic institutions.
While visiting the basement warehouse of a very nice museum in Dallas and
another in Houston, I found shelf after shelf, and row after row of fossils
in casts, many many of them labeled "unknown" or "un-identified" and such.
There are literally thousands of fossils sitting in basements of museums,
out of public view and forgotten.

        What amazing discoveries may lurk in that darkness?

        I also found that most of the people that DO get to clean and prep 
for museums are amateurs (at least at these two places).  This is not really
the fault of the museums, as they are constantly under funded for "real"
science projects, in favor of "popular" science.  Often times that may mean
"If it isn't a T-rex or a  'raptor, fuhgeddaboudit".

        Steve is right on target.  People should not be discounted because 
amateurs or collectors.  I do, however, believe that even private collectors
should attempt to share the beauty of their collections with the rest of the
world.  Money (charging admittance) is a great motivator.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
Steve Brusatte
Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2001 11:55 AM
To: vita0015@tc.umn.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Sue had no wishbone...

On Sat, 24 Feb 2001 15:33:18
 Demetrios M. Vital wrote:
>Isn't a furcula basal to tyrannosauroidea?

Well, he wasn't saying that Sue (or any tyrannosaurs) didn't possess a
furcula, he was simply saying that what is reconstructed on Sue's mounted
skeleton is not a furcula, but rather likely a disarticulated piece of

He said that he "hopes we find a T. rex wishbone some day."

I am very interested to see what others on list have to say about this
"claim," especially our theropod experts (you know who you are!).

By the way, Larson's talk (on pathologies) was informative, and Pete is a
great speaker.  It's ashame what the media has done to him.  His work
shouldn't be discounted because he is a private collector.  Although many of
us onlist have problems with some of this hypotheses (gender, Sue's broken
leg, etc.), we shouldn't simply discount him because he isn't a member of


>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Steve Brusatte" <dinoland@lycos.com>
>To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
>Sent: Saturday, February 24, 2001 2:50 PM
>Subject: Sue had no wishbone...
>> Hey,
>> I attended Peter Larson's talk at the Burpee Museum in Rockford last
>evening, and he spoke a bit on how he believes that the wishbone (furcula)
>constructed on Sue isn't a wishbone at all.  His reasoning is that it isn't
>curved like wishbones in birds and other theropods.
>> I asked him exactly what he thought it may be, and he mentioned
>a broken piece of gastralia.
>> Has anyone else given serious consideration to this view?  Has anything
>been published on it?  How about list-member views??
>> Steve
>> ---
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