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RE: Dinosaurs in space?

On Thu, 17 May 2001 20:16:14  
 Ken Kinman wrote:
>     I totally agree that stromatolites were probably our first fossilized 
>"astronauts".  That thought had never occurred to me.  But the only decent 
>chance of finding them would be on the moon.  Gravity tends to pull most 
>debris toward the center of the solar system, so finding Mars rocks on Earth 
>is more likely than finding Earth rocks on Mars (the escape velocity factor 
>you mentioned would enhance this tendency further).
>     The most likely planets with Earth rocks would therefore be Venus and 
>Mercury, but their extreme environments aren't very conducive to rocks lying 
>around unchanged like they would on the Moon (which also has the advantage 
>of being so close to us).
>      However, the notion (mentioned in this report) that we might find 
>dinosaur bones on the Moon (especially with muscle and skin still attached) 
>is obviously absurd (but I  wouldn't be as diplomatic as Horner was in how I 
>  criticized it).  But who knows, we might someday find some pulverized 
>dinosaur bone bits on the Moon.  But with the greater amounts of 
>stromatolite bits (not to mention non-fossil rocks and dust from all over), 
>it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack.
>     By the way, if you found a bone "bit" the size of a tiny grain of sand, 
>would you be able to distinguish mammal bits from reptile bone bits (much 
>less narrow it down to dinosaurs)?  How big would the bit have to be to 
>distinguish mammal bone from reptile bone? (I guess it would probably vary 
>among different bones of the body, and tooth bits might be better than most 
>      Speculation is fun, but if this guy Shull thinks he is going to find 
>chunks of dinosaur thighs on the moon, he is in for a very rude awakening, 
>not to mention a lot of jokes about dinosaur moon steaks.
>                   -----Ken

I wouldn't have been as diplomatic, either, and I also think the hypothesis is 
absurd.  However, we must all be reminded that a dinosaur has been in space.  
In 1998 (or was it 1997??) the now-fired director of the Carnegie Museum (a 
former astronaut) arranged for a nice Coelophysis skull to make its way onto 
one of the space shuttles.  And who said Dennis Tito was the first space 
tourist?  The last time I checked this skull was still on display at the 


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