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Re: Notes from the under-matrix.

> 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

Aw, David,

You've lost me here.

I've dissected many a vertebrate in college and since. I've endured the
Texas Permian redbeds in summer. I've survived sandstorms and various
environmental conditions in Iran and especially right next to Iraq and a
mere 80 kilometers from Basrah. Have you ever heard a jackal's howl at 3
a.m. along the Iraqi border, or crawled into its lair [size matters; I could
fit: it smelled terrible; lots of decaying bones] the next day, or survived
[barely] temperatures ranging from minus 30C to plus 49C, or have been
arrested/shot-at/held-at-bay/or suspected of being an American "satan," or
slogged into remote Iranian wadis [canyons] to inspect Triassac dinosaur
footprints, or studied, first-hand, Indian Mugger crocodiles along the
malaria-infested Iranian/Pakistan Baluchistan border [I survived!], or have
drunk water from goat-skins dipped into Pakistani water-holes and Iranian
Hormuz Island [Persian Gulf] cisterns [I lived!], or spent hours and hours
carefully chipping away with dental tools at fossil specimens, or dealt
with/comforting/supplying paleontological expeditions [Miocene -- arrgh!] in
northwestern Iran/Kurdistan, or encountered nasty saw-scaled/horned vipers,
deadly seasnakes, lethal scorpions, solpugids, or half-meter-long
centipedes, or have lived among Arabic / Kurdish / Qashqi / Bakthiari /
Baluchistani tribespeople as a crazy [it saved my life many times!] mouse /
lizard / snake / frog / bone/ bug-hunter?.

When you have, then perhaps you may criticize professional researchers'

Please don't disdain those of us who have gone through (and continure to
experience) utter hell (and several shades of possible death) just to gain a
few scraps of scientific data, material, and specimens so that other, more
competent, experts may examine and interpret them.

To this day, I blame the late (*un*lamented) 'Ayatollah Khomeini and his
minyons for my abortive research on those wonderful crocodiles in Iranian
Baluchistan, far west of the Indus River. You know, I  found hatchling
footprints, indicating  a thriving population . . . but I cannot prove it,
nor can I publish! My notes and data and measurements were seized by the
Iranian Revolutionary Islamic Committee. HP Dr. Tom Holtz and HP Dr. James
Farlow (among others) would rightly box my ears if I tried to publish such
[outdated, no longer substantiated] data.

-= Tuck =-