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Re: "Largest" dinosaurs...



Yes I did, and that is one of the pieces that inspired me to write that little 
email.  I do understand how the majority of fossil evidence is, rare, 
fragmentary, incomplete, open to interpretation, biases of scientists, and 
composed of the remains of animals 100 million years old.

It's good to know that giganotosaurus is based on more complete remains, as I 
thought that when it was initially "announced" as bigger than trex, it was 
REALLY fragmentary.  Utah raptor and megaraptor were initially based on single 
claws, correct?  

Wasn't Ultrasaurus based on a single leg?  I remember the dimensions ascribed 
to that dinosaur. pretty big for what they were working with.  I guess that's 
how paleontology strays from science.  There's quite a bit of imagination 
necessary to incorperate what we know of related fossils to work with such 
small pieces of the puzzle.  

Like nychtosaurus.  who the heck would have imagined a 5 foot long crest on 
ANYTHING!  Almost makes Chrichton's venomous dilophosaurus idea seem mundame.

It's more of those cases, where a single piece is found and assumptions are 
made from THAT, that bothers me.  While I DO understand how there NEEDs to be 
assumptions, and that in fact, many of thse assumptions are probably correct, 
it still irks me...

IF we find an 8 foot long jawbone, obviously therapod, with 12 inch teeth, we 
can be fairly sure it came from something bigger than T-rex.  That's clear.  
However, if we take that fossil, extrapolate size estimates, morphology, 
behavior, color, etc. that's getting iffy.  Don't get me wrong, it's 
scientific, but I don't think that they should announce it as the "biggest 
therapod," when all they HAVE is the jaw.  See where I'm going?  This is the UN 
scientific side of me...

I don't want to see a JAW FRAGMENT labeled as "the largest predatory dinosaur," 
it might COME FROM the largest therapod, but it's JUST a part of it, not the 
whole thing.  
They could say " we have found some remains of the largest therapod ever 
found", but I don't think they actually FOUND "
the largest therapod".  I can go to a museam, and see an example of nearly 
every bone in Trex.  we know, within a few feet hopw long they got.  We know 
what they  looked like.  We have found T rex, for the most part.  We have the 
jaw of something bigger, but we don't HAVE something bigger-but we know it's 
out there.  

Some things were named by their footprints alone, so I shouldn't complain about 
fragmentary remains!

Speaking of partial remains...spinosaurus remains were wiped out in WWII, 
correct?  have there been any more remains found of spinosaurus itself?