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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 6:15 PM
Subject: Re: Sinornithoides in DA... the first Sleeping Dragon.

> In a message dated 8/15/2005 5:17:45 AM Alaskan Standard Time,
> DragonsClaw@gmx.net writes:
> >> 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
> 2. Mei was found in a sleeping posture, but died before it was buried due
> 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? <<
> I think I was clear enough. The gist of it is that I'm not saying "This is
> the reason!!!". Instead, I was proposing a combination of factors pretty
> consistent with observed instances of death due to outgassing. Re-read if
> like.
> >> Concerning the mode of burial I would think that Xu & Norell proposed
> "Pompeii-like depositional conditions" which I would agree with since it
> both the excellent preservation of the specimen and the apparently
> 3D-mode of it. Why didnt Mei make an attempt to run away when the ash
> to fall? Possibly because it had been killed in it's sleep by the vulcanic
> gasses before. <<
> Uh huh...
> >> So for my sense the easiest explanation for the specimen would be: Mei
> 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
> buried gently by a layer of ash thick enough so it could be found well
> preserved 128 - 139 million years later. <<
> And that's what I'm questioning. From how I understand it, the paper
> equivically state, "Mei was buried in ash like Pompeii". Instead, it calls
> Lujiatun beds alluvial deposits mainly comprised of tuffaceous
> debris flows, sandstones, and mudstones. This would be a mixed
> pyroclastic-epiclastic deposit... Not a simple ash fall. It goes on to say
the most
> fossiliferous localities are preserved in tuffaceous ashes up to 3m thick.
Does this
> apply to Mei? Such instances are considered Pompeii-like events, though
not all
> are volcanic in origin. The article never states which of those types of
> was the modus operendi... It says only that sedimentology is consistent
> a life-pose. I'm assuming, as you have, that one should take this as
> "ash fall". It doesn't make sense for it to have been a wave of vaporized
> even though as written, the Lujiatun beds are mostly associated with
> flows". This is what I was curious about.
> Kris
> http://hometown.aol.com/saurierlagen/Paleo-Photography.html

Since you say you were clear enough, I would take that for: "Mei was NOT
found in a sleeping posture, but the specimen reflects a futile attempt to
conter some catastrophic onslaught!" - If I got the rest right, you base
that on the mode of burial (about which the paper actually doesnt tell very
much, as others have pointed out already). Which brings up my original
question again:
Why should a cursorial animal, contrary to the "run away" behaviour one
would expect, curl up into a ball when faced with deadly danger?