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RE: well-lit dimosaurs



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Ray Stanford
>
>
> The article attributed to BBC News Online science editor Dr. David
> Whitehouse seems to have a glaring oversight:
>
>     It says, "Measurements have been made on 100-million-year-old rock
> samples...Researchers say that besides possibly giving T. rex a better
> display of the Northern and Southern Lights..."
>
>     Did researchers really say that (about T. rex)? I didn't know
> T. rex was
> that old!  :)
>
>     Deductively (because of the T. rex reference), the author seems to be
> presuming that the same magnetic intensity persisted at least through the
> end of the Cretaceous ('T. rex time'), yet no evidence to that effect is
> cited in the BBC News on-line article.

I think this is deducing way too far!  The T. rex reference is in a
relatively artistic sentence ("...better display of Northern & Southern
Lights...") rather than in any direct quotation by the researchers. I
strongly suspect that the name "T. rex" was used because it is the best
known Cretaceous dinosaur: unfortunately, it is a LATEST Cretaceous
dinosaur.

Not a single other phrase concerning the data or quotes from the researchers
implies suggestions on their part that the high intensity extended into C33
or later.  (Incidentally, T. rex lived in C30n and died during C29r).

So I think that the use of the name T. rex was (inaccurate) artistic
license.

>     The Long Cretaceous Normal which Holtz mentions does not, to my
> knowledge, include T. rex's time period. Someone please correct me if I'm
> wrong on this.

No, it does not.  I'm glad they didn't use a Jurassic dinosaur!

                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