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RE: New Tyrannosaurus paper




-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
Michael de Sosa
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2002 12:42 AM
To: Dinosaur Mailing List
Subject: RE: New Tyrannosaurus paper


Tracy wrote:
> I wonder about this, and if they really looked at the skeletons?

Short answer: Yes. They have.

Long answer: I have personally helped John Hutchinson take measurements of
the COMPLETE MOUNTED SKELETON in the atrium of VLSB here in Berkeley. And
then there is our huge collections in the UCMP, where we keep shelves and
shelves of rex material.<<
I keep telling myself that I need to go up to the Berkeley collections and
library, one day I'll get up there.
>>And then there are all the dissections of various birds and crocodiles
John has done. And then there is that trip to Thailand
he made to do a biomechanical analysis of elephants. And then there was that
little PhD thesis he wrote called "The evolution of hindlimb anatomy and
function in theropod dinosaurs". And then... I feel like that drive-thru
lady in Dude, Where's My Car?<<
Ok, he's done all that, but that doesn't mean he's understand the
differences completely and has made the common mistake of assuming the two
are the same, they ain't.
How can you compare a distal end of a femur that has a nearly right angle
distal end with one that has a more horizontal one and say they are the
same? (I'm just going on the newspaper account of the paper right now and we
all know how bad that can be :) ).
I'd love to see a dissection of a dinosaur that they could compare to. Yes I
know they can't.

>>Does that mean he's right? No, that's for the scientific community to
decide. But even if you didn't know all those other details, the fact that
NSF and Stanford felt comfortable enough to give him a postdoc in their
biomechanics department means that maybe he knows what he's talking about.<<
So Stanford is the authority in dinosaurs? Just because he's been excepted
their doesn't mean he's right.

>>As a Cal student, I personally think his choice of school borders on
treason, but even I have to admit you have to be pretty well-qualified to
get a post down on the Farm.<<

>A chicken is not a T. rex. A chicken's body is totally different. The femur
>articulation is totally different.

Maybe I'm going out on a limb here<<
HA, ha,  I bet you didn't really know you wrote that in that way.
>> but I'm sure he knows the difference between chicken and T. rex
locomotory posture. I don't believe he's saying
it was identical.<<
Ah, here your making the same kind of assumption that I am.

>I'll have to wait till next week when I get the article.

>>Maybe you should have waited to read it before questioning the research
habits of people you probably don't know very well. :)<<
Hmm. So I guess we can't question the papers anymore and just take them for
their word? If this is the case maybe I should give up and go back to
driving a fork lift?

Hmm, how long has he been doing this and how long have I been looking at
dinosaurs? So I don't have a PhD, does this mean I can't question people, or
point out problems? Does this mean I don't know as much as them? (oh ah,
never mind on that last one, they probably know a LOT more than ME :) ).

Mike D.

Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171
Poway Ca  92074