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Re: Sinornithoides in DA... the first Sleeping Dragon.

----- Original Message -----
From: <MariusRomanus@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 9:21 AM
Subject: Re: Sinornithoides in DA... the first Sleeping Dragon.

> Actually, what I'm saying isn't far fetched... I never said it was an
> adopted defensive posture. When it comes to Mei, I'm thinking that the
> animal died BEFORE it was entombed in a tuffaceous conglomerate debris
> Being from volcaniclastic beds, you might as well assume that, just like
today, a
> myriad of wonderful poisons were constantly being belched out of the
> all of which do not require a volcano within sight, nor a full fledged
> eruption for that matter. Gases may escape continuously into the
atmosphere from the
> soil, volcanic vents, fumaroles, and hydrothermal systems.  Essentially,
> either went to sleep, but never woke up, or, was literally put to sleep.
> what gas can tire you out so that you stop running, make you feel very ill
> cause you to completely lose your wits, maybe even make you curl up into a
> ball before it eventually knocks you out and kills you, especially if it's
> insideous onset??? Carbon dioxide of course... the number two constituent
> volcanic gas. (Number one is plain old water vapor.) Then here comes the
> flow...
> The real thing about all of this that puzzles me concerns how Mei was
> What sort of debris flow, especially if it's volcanic, can gently bury
> without tossing you about like a rag doll? In other words, what allowed
Mei to keep
> it's nice and tidy curled up posture while it was, dare I say,
> buried? A landslide-type even would work like a bulldozer, uprooting
> Mei and tumbling it about. It's almost as if a backhoe dropped it's
> right on top of it in one big "Plop!".
> Kris
> http://hometown.aol.com/saurierlagen/Paleo-Photography.html

"I don't believe what we have here is a sleeping posture either. It really
looks as if what we actually have preserved is the futile attempt to protect
against a volcanic/landslide onslaught."

That appears to me to be a clear statement _contra_  Xu & Norell 2004.

"Essentially, Mei either went to sleep, but never woke up, or, was literally
put to sleep."

Now I would like to understand what exactly you are proposing:

1. Mei was not found in a sleeping posture, but rather in a protective
posture reflecting a futile attempt to counter some catastrophic onslaught?
2. Mei was found in a sleeping posture, but died before it was buried due to
the effects of deadly volcanic gasses?
3. Mei was found in a sleep-like posture that was caused by the effects of
volcanic gasses, but doesnt reflect it's "normal" sleeping posture?
4. Mei was found in a sleep-like posture that was caused by the effects of
volcanic gasses and does reflect it's "normal" sleeping posture?

Concerning the mode of burial I would think that Xu & Norell proposed
"Pompeii-like depositional conditions" which I would agree with since it
explains both the excellent preservation of the specimen and the apparently
undisturbed 3D-mode of it. Why didnt Mei make an attempt to run away when
the ash started to fall? Possibly because it had been killed in it's sleep
by the vulcanic gasses before.

So for my sense the easiest explanation for the specimen would be:
Mei was sleeping in it's natural bird-like posture. It got killed by the
volcanic gasses in it's sleep. When the ash began to fall, Mei was already
dead and thus buried gently by a layer of ash thick enough so it could be
found well preserved 128 - 139 million years later.

Torsten van der Lubbe