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Re: Just following the trend of questioning...[Humor] :o) - and more



    Allan Edels said, "Me thought that he t'were bout to name you "PRINTS of
W(H)ALES"
- But, that would not be Dinosaurian enough."

    Well, err...I'm a bit too thin for that honor...  :o), but I do find a
few prints around here that one might say are from a 'whale of a dinosaur',
but except for a very large theropod track print (and some nice single toe
prints of such), sauropod prints up to 75 cm across, and parts of two rather
gigantic Iguanadon type imprints, most of the tracks are of quite moderate
sizes, ranging down to the smallest trackways with foot lengths of 1.6 and
1.8 cm progressing beside and identical in morphology to a seeming adult
print going in the same direction and at 12.0 cm length. (These are clearly
NOT from avians, but from non-avian dinosaurs, despite the small size of the
several small-track trackways.)

    Am I sure the 12.0 cm long track was made by the same type dinosaur as
were the tiny, parallel trackways?  YES!  When I take an image the most
detailed and highest quality of the 1.8 cm tracks (So good that tiny dermal
patterns are present on one of the digit imprints, with help from the very
fine-grained substrate!) and enlarge it to the same size as an image of the
12 cm track, the comparison shows clear evidence of a common species of
trackmaker, although the larger imprint is about 6.7 times as long as the
small ones.  This remarkable ichnite might be taken as giving us a nice
constraint on the ratio of adult to hatchling (?) size.

    By the way, one of the reasons I sounded so happy in my response to
Michael Skrepnick's post of yesterday afternoon, was because I had, shortly
before responding, arrived back home with a just-found and, IMO, rather
beautiful  natural cast of a 12.6 cm theropod right-side footprint with a
very clear 2 cm digit I (hallux) mark that is retroverted by about 170
degrees from digit III!  The footprint cast has a relatively long central
toe (digit III), compared to digits II and IV, along with other distinctive
features that closely follow the skeletal pedal morphology of some
ornithomimic dinosaurs.

    Sorry fellow Shakespeareans, but my luck was so good yesterday that I
just can't honestly say, "How ill this tapir burns!"

    But I shall confess I've never figured out why that poor animal was set
afire in the first place!  :o)

    Please believe me guys, I'm really kidding about the meaning of tapir,
but not about the tracks described.

    In closing, one final tip for successful hunting, whether it be for
tracks or for the remains of the trackmakers: Don't go out looking for what
you HOPE is out there, go relaxed and looking for 'whatever the hell' is
there!  Fail to go in that attitude and you may overlook something more
interesting and important that what you'd hope to find.

    Ray Stanford
    Mesozoic Track Project
    dinotracker@earthlink.net

"You know my method.  It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery