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Deaf ichthyosaur and T. rex skin
Deaf ichthyosaur and T. rex skin
From: Ben Creisler email@example.com
A couple of stories off the web that may be of interest--
I'm giving the texts since there seem to be problems with
urls I have provided recently. Note there are some obvious
inaccuracies (ichthyosaurs called "dinosaurs" and 2 m
sounds awfully large for a "new born" ichthyosaur).
Dinosaur of the deep deaf as a post
By BRADY HARAN
UNTIL yesterday, radiographer George Kourlis's oldest
patient was a 102-year-old woman with dementia.
Now, it is a 110 million-year-old dinosaur that has
hearing problems. Mr Kourlis, from the Royal Adelaide
Hospital, has been working with SA Museum paleontologist
Ben Kear on a series of CAT scans on the fossilised bones
of an ichthyosaur.
The X-rays, performed on the hospital's $2 million helical
scanner, have provided fascinating information about the
"This has really let us get inside the skull and see how
all the bones are connected," Mr Kear said yesterday.
"For example, we have learned the bones in the ear were
virtually non-functional and the dinosaur was probably
This conclusion was reached because the inner ear bone was
too thick to detect noise vibrations and was set too deep
in the skull.
The three-dimensional images also showed holes and
channels in the skull that housed vessels and nerves
servicing the jaw.
"It is possible the ichthyosaur had a dermal skin sensor,
sort of like the electro receptors that platypuses and
sharks have," Mr Kear said.
The fossilised remains of the dinosaur were found in 1994
in Hughenden, Queensland, which was part of Australia's
Early Cretaceous inland sea.
The animal died as a new born, but was still nearly 2m
long. Adult ichthyosaurs reached about 7m in length.
"This is among the best ichthyosaur material in the world.
It is for all intents and purposes exactly how the
dinosaur was when it died," Mr Kear said.
Fossilized skin of T-rex a treasured find
October 17, 2001, Wednesday
GREAT BEND, Kan. The fossilized skin of a Tyrannosaurus
rex ranks at the top of finds by Kansas fossil hunters
Alan and Robert Detrich.
"This is the most exciting thing that we've ever found,"
Alan Detrich said Tuesday during a visit to a local school
for a display of the latest fossil discoveries. "I had no
idea that we would get skin impressions. People hadn't
realized it was possible." The big attraction for students
at Great Bend's Lincoln Elementary from the Detrichs'
latest find in the badlands of South Dakota is a much
larger specimen, a 65-million-year-old edmontosaurus.
That dinosaur is enclosed in a protective cast until it
can be extracted from rock and assembled.
The Detrichs are more excited, though, by the dimpled,
sand-colored, palm-sized rocks they brought with them in a
small display case.
Detrich said the big debate about the fossilized skin has
been whether the animal had feathers, or fur, or was
"It look like they were birdlike," Alan Detrich said of
the fossilized skin, comparing its appearance to that of a
Samples of the finding will be analyzed by Dr. Dale
Russell at North Carolina State University and by Dr. Phil
Currie at the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in
It appears Currie may have seen T-rex skin before. In
1995, 12-year-old Tess Owen reportedly discovered
tyrannosaurus skin impressions in a rock formation near
The 10-centimeter-square impression was by far the best of
three impressions from the site. Currie is quoted in the
Edmonton Journal as saying that the 12-year-old's find
According to ZoomDinosaurs.com, fossilized skin
impressions have been found for only a small fraction of
the known dinosaurs.
The Detrichs find is similar to that of the Canadian girl -
a small rock with symmetrical rows of raised bumps.
Currie said the specimen found in Canada indicates that
tyrannosaurs had a lightly pebbled skin, like an elephants
The Detrichs found their skin with a T-rex rib in Harding
County, S.D., the same county where the edmontosaurus was
found. The large dinosaur was encased in a burlap and
plastic jacket and hauled to Great Bend on a flatbed
Before returning to Kansas, the Detrichs showed the
edmontosaurus to Harding County students, who painted an
American flag and other symbols on the cast.
It will be restored in Mark Rosenberg's warehouse in Great
Bend, the same building where Alan Detrich housed "Mr. Z-
Rex," a tyrannosaurus rex discovered in South Dakota in
1992 that he tried to sell twice through Internet auction.
Detrich said he finally sold it to an undisclosed buyer
earlier this year.
Although the edmontosaurus isn't a rare dinosaur, it's
rare to find one this complete, Alan Detrich said. Usually
bones are scattered about, but this one was articulated,
with the bones still joined, possibly because it died in
Alan Detrich postulated that the duck-billed dinosaur died
in a flood or was caught in a river. There may even be
contents in the dinosaur's stomach, he said.