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Re: Dinosaur Planet

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
> > From: > James R. Cunningham

> Some good, some bad on that show.

I agree.  I was much impressed with Scott Sampson.
> * Holtz's first rule of reconstructing fossil animals: "The skeleton has to
> fit inside your reconstruction".

One of my thoughts.  I couldn't help but notice that the Quetzes would
have had to dislocate most of their cervical vertebrae to achieve the
neck manuevers that were shown.  And somehow the downward bend of the
skeletal spar just inboard of the distal end of MCIV disappeared.  Since
that bend was crucial to the structural loading during flight, that sort
of surprised me.  I forgot to look and see if the eyes were in the right
place (most quetz illustrations place them too high), and didn't look to
see if they retained the incorrect 'chisel point' beak from some of the

> * And speaking of the latter: Campanian Montana did NOT look like modern
> Montana with CG volcanoes and dinosaurs!!!  URGH! 

You mean that Quetz DIDN'T need 500 foot high volcanic cliffs to launch
from?  I thought those vents coming out the sides of the cliff were the
exhausts from the steam catapults that were used to launch the quetzies.

As a more serious aside, does anyone have a count on how many northern
quetzes have been found to date?  And dates for the earliest ones?

> * Why Quetzaloatlus rather than Montanazhdarcho (which is actually KNOWN
> from the Two Med?).

I agree.  And at least the 'Quetzes' didn't strongly resemble the ones
that lived 10 million years later that were found in the Big Bend. 
Thank goodness for small favors.