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Re: Notes from the under-matrix.

"Old school" means not using tools that have been around since the mid '90s, 
like Photoshop, to see what has been overlooked before. Nothing more. I was 
"Old School" until about a year ago.

The problem is this: professionals like Chris and David are ceding interesting 
discoveries to goofballs like me, who never had a geology course and last 
dissected a frog in junior high. That's wrong and it should be stopped.

Thank you, Jaime, for the geology lesson. I had no idea. Nevertheless, whatever 
the taphonomy of the fossil or the degradation of the sediment, a set of dorsal 
plumes and a baby are visible, probably to the unaided eye. Photoshop just
makes them pop more.

Here's how I know: I'm using as my source a university photocopy (you know how 
bad they are) of the small halftone of the specimen found in, I think, Don 
Glut's dinosaur encyclopedia. Yuck!

If I can find a baby with that handicap, it should be visible to the unaided 
eye under low-angle lighting conditions. Plans are afoot to do just that. 
Chicago is the closest baby to me and there should be a paper soon.

Anyone wishing to find the nycto baby can follow my path. If someone out there 
wants to be the Independent Observer, let me know what you find.

Best of luck,
David Peters

"Jaime A. Headden" wrote:

> David Peters (davidrpeters@earthlink.net) wrote:
> <In the case of the Nyctosaurus from the Niobrara chalk I believe that
> traces of preservation or "echoes" of the same above and below the bedding
> plane are what I am seeing. In Ichnology these are called "underprints" I
> think.>
>   If I understand the formation of chalk properly, it is not possible to
> form any sort of prints as it is a gradualistic, non-layered form of
> conglomeration. Material would settle into any depression, and, being so
> fine-grained, the chalk would not form layers but intermix; the fossil is
> included in more than one plane sometimes, whereas in limestone it is
> usually in a single plane, and the sediment is coarser, enabling
> impressions to be preserved. If the preparators were removing any sort of
> matrix, any underprints possibly and unforeseeably there would be
> obscurred by the needles and prep area made by the workers. This is
> usually circular in area, as the workers seek to surround the fossil with
> their tools to find any more bones. I do not think it is right to refute
> Chris Bennett by only saying his observations are old school when in fact
> he has worked on these fossils and sediments for quite a few years.
>   Cheers,
> =====
> Jaime A. Headden
>   Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making 
> leaps in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We 
> should all learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather 
> than zoom by it.
> "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
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