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Re: Ichthyosaurus fossilised in mid-birth ??



--- "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Aidan Karley (aidan_karley@yahoo.co.uk) wrote:
> 
[SNIP]
> <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. ;)
> 
    I tohught Americans did iced tea, and so were environmentally
ill-suited to carrying out experiments at high levels of improbability.
Oh, hang on, what was that guff on the Discovery Channel (Europe) last
night. 
/Me retracts assessment of transpondian improbability  <G>

> <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?] 
    I had a "Jerzy" stuck in the depths of my memory, but
Keilan-Jaworowska does sound decidedly familiar. Not so jaw-cracking
either, now that I have to deal with Mrs Maevskaya on a day-to-day
basis.

> 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. 
> 
    Why-so "infamous"? Is this some piece of palaeontological
scuttlebut I've missed in the last couple of years.


> <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?
[SNIP other examples]
    Comparing apples and oranges - the speed of Darwinian evolution of
species by genetic natural selection compared with the essentially
Lamarkian evolution of societies (and their attendant technologies) by
inheritance of acquired memetic characteristics. (I'm sure Dawkins
could, and does, put it better.)

>   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.
> 
    Leaving aside the athropomorphism of 'judgement' (hey, I *like*
these flightless, hornless birds too <G>), I was thinking along similar
lines while replying to Phil's letter of 10 minutes ago. It would have
to be a pretty major rainfall to raise the water table by more than a
few feet. Being adjacent to a flash-flooded wadi (so concentrating the
rainfall of a large catchment into a small channel) or the alluvial fan
where a wadi discharges (thinking on my fingertips <G>) would produce
the necessary circumstances more readily. And would suggest testable
predictions about the local sedimentology.
    Finally I remembered to check the "reply-to:" header. I hate
webmail interfaces!


-- 
Aidan Karley,
Aberdeen,
Scotland


        
        
                
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