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Merry New 2001!
Considerable amount of good stuff (as always) in the Summer 2000/2001 issue
of Nature Australia.
A review by Paul Willis of the the work done by Scanlon and Lee (Qld
Museum) on madstoiid and mosasaur skull material which suggest that
mosasaurs were the "oral intermediate" between lizards and jaw-dislocating
snakes which lends weight to a marine rather than burrowing origin for
"Crocodiles as Dinosaurs" by Frank Seebacher. An study of thermoregulation
and behaviour in Aussie crocs which demonstrates that large salties (C.
porosus) maintain a high and stable body temperature throughout the day.
While acknowledging polar and feathery dinosaurs, the author concludes that
larger (over 1000kg) dinosaurs could have been warm, stable ectotherms.
Regardless of whether one agrees/disagrees with this conclusion, it is
certainly worth checking out in being the first study of its kind performed
on large free-ranging reptiles (as opposed to captured/captive animals). It
involved surgically implanting temperature-sensitive transmitters, shaped
to resemble gastroliths, into dead chickens.
...oh, plus theres a painting by yours truly! Its on page...er (flick