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RE: Oldest Known Male Fossil: 425 MYA



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Jodie Houston @ Coombs
>
> Maybe the mineral content was too high?  They use CT scans for quite a few
> specimens in palaeoanthropology, and didn't they copy a triceratops at he
> Smithsonian using CT scanning and stereolithography?  This fossil is much
> older so maybe the material was too dense.
>
> CT scanning is now very accurate so I think the technology is up
> to scratch,
> it just might not have been suitable.
>

As a former ostraocod(*) sufferer... um, worker, I should note that these
guys are tiny.  They are generally, tinier than a grain of rice, precooking;
this particular specimen is 5 mm long.  It is very likely that CT scans do
not have quite the resolution needed for the internal details. The
preservation is by calcite infilling, so this is probably a factor, too.

With regards to some of the other comments in the news item: cods (as they
are affectionately known) are already infamous in invertebrate paleontology
and invertebrate zoology for the astounding size of their copulatory organs,
although these are surpassed by the even more astounding barnacles.

* Preferrably with NO terminal "e"; Robin Whatley (if memory serves) pointed
this out in an essay in (again, if memory serves) Journal of Paleo. some
decade or so ago.

                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