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Re: Rugops, a scavenger?

I was at the press release for Rugops in Chicago last week ( on my way to
the opening of the Dinosphere exhibit in Indianapolis ), so I can tell you
the following. . .

Paul Sereno indeed considers this dinosaur to be a scavenger because of the
relatively smaller head to body size in this genus, as well as smaller tooth
crowns overall.  He feels that the rows of foramina (substantially uniform
rows of deep pits running along the nasals) on top of its head are possibly
related to a keratinous structure anchored there, that may have grown down
and enclosed the entire snout / muzzle of the animal.  In describing this he
used the term "bill" on a number of occasions. This was in reference to some
comparative studies Tyler Keillor (one of Pauls employees at the U.of C.)
did on modern birds including hornbills, cassowaries, etc. . . as a basis
for the 3 dimensional bust of Rugops he prepared for the unveiling, which by
the way is a highly innovative interpretation and meticulously well crafted
/ faithful to the preserved cranial elements as well.  Tyler produced an
intact model of the skull with "mirrored" versions of missing bits, prior to
rendering the fleshed out version.  I've been pushing him to bring a copy of
it to the SVP preparators session in Denver, for all to have a look at.  It
may have been unfortunate for Paul to have used the word "bill" as a
descriptive term, as I expect many of the media present picked up on that
and came away with a
somewhat distorted impression of what he meant to imply.  For those in
attendance with any rudimentary grasp of current trends in vert paleo, the
intent of his explanation was perfectly clear.

Mike Skrepnick

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric Hall" <Hall966@msn.com>
To: "list" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2004 9:53 PM
Subject: Re: Rugops, a scavenger?

> I have already been noticing all kinds of apparent misinformation in the
> press releases, and I was wondering myself why they keep referring to this
> animal as a scavenger.  It doesn't appear to have a long snout either
> an abelisaur after all).
> Even more interesting is that another article claimed that the holes in
> skull could have supported a toucan-like bill!  So to tack on another
> question here, where could this idea have come from?  Just the uninformed
> but inspired media again?
> Eric Hall
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Brad McFeeters" <archosauromorph2@hotmail.com>
> To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Sent: Friday, June 04, 2004 8:48 PM
> Subject: Rugops, a scavenger?
> > http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20040529_890.html
> >
> > According to this news article, "Sereno said Rugops probably was a
> > scavenger
> > that used its long snout to pick at carrion."  Did he seriously say
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
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> >