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Re: Ichthyosaurus fossilised in mid-birth ??



Aidan Karley (aidan_karley@yahoo.co.uk) wrote:

<I have weak memories of seeing pictures of this specimen, but on being
reminded of it, my first feeling is "what an improbably small proportion of an
ichthyosaur's life to get captured by an uncommonly rapid preservation event!">

 ...

<It still strikes me as being decidedly improbable though.>

  Both have been suggested. Now, reminding you all of Douglas Adams: just
because it's improbable, doesn't mean it's impossible. ;)

<Maybe not as improbable sounding as the "fighting protoceratops" reported from
somewhere in the vicinity of Mongolia (Sorry - the notes I made are on my home
computer 250 miles ashore. ISTR a jawcracker of an Eastern European name being
associated with the find.)>

  Well, it was described by both Zofia (Sophia) Kielan-Jaworowska [is this who
you mean?] and later popularized by her and her colleague Halszka Osmólska, who
also described the frilly member of the pair. The [now infamous] carnivore of
the pair was described by Barsbold Rinchen. 

<In fact, the prospect of a sensible desert-dwelling organism being out on the
prowl in a sandstorm capable of depositing metres-plus of sand in one event
sounds pretty implausible too. Such weather-disrespecting bloodlines ought to
have been culled from the species generations earlier.>

  Of course, this doesn't stop people living in killing Tsunami areas, does it?
Or in Greece, one of the most earthquake-prone regions of the world ... or say,
living on the slopes of volcanos like they do in Sicily and the slopes of
Vesuvius, various Polynesian islands, or for sake me, atop a huge fault
surrounded by cindercones with semi-active volcanos in the most active part of
the Cascades of Portland, Oregon. People still live in Tornado Alley, USA, and
in regions prone to Typhoons and Hurricanes, despite billions in damages and
hundreds of deaths a year. We'll outbreed all the disasters! The blattodeans of
the mammalian world, we are!

  However, recent data appears to indicate the "sandstorm" didn't exist.
Geological sections of the sites and abroad indicate what happened was rainfall
saturated the sands, causing a freak collapse of entire dune structures _after_
the storm, something that occurs today with less frequency than sandstorms in
dune/erg environments. So there would have been less ability to judge this
aforehand with enough frequency to prevent accidents in freak weather.

  Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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