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Re: In the Mesozoic, no one can hear you scream.



As the one who wrote the New Scientist story, I should point out that the study 
actually is based on Allosaurus, Archaeopteryx, and Brachiosaurus fossils. I 
asked about T. rex, and the author extrapolated to it from the body mass of the 
other dinosaurs. He also had looked at living birds and crocodiles. While he 
has much more data on birds, crocodiles seem to fit in to the same general 
trend. (There are exceptions, notably barn owls, which have evolved 
exceptionally acute hearing.) But it's clearly a fun idea, as evidenced by the 
discussion here.  

By the way, the original paper is Otto Gleich, Robert J. Dooling, and Geoffrey 
A Manley, "Audiogram, body mass, and basilar papilla length: correlations in 
birds and predictions for extinct archosaurs," Naturewissenschaften V. 92, pp 
595-598. 

At 12:59 PM -0800 1/7/06, T. Michael Keesey wrote:
>On 1/7/06, Andrew Simpson <deathspresso@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> Though I'm not inclined to think T-Rex was pitch deaf
>> it does bring up an interesting thought as far as
>> Hadrosaurs are concerned. If all those crests were in
>> fact designed to make big sounds, if the T-Rex was
>> deaf to certain frequencies then the Hardorsaurs could
>> have had an early warning system that the big preditor
>> couldn't even hear.
>
>Those hadrosaur sounds are supposed to have been fairly low-pitched, though.
>
>Incidentally, this study only goes for *adult* _T. rex_....
>--

-- 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jhecht.net
Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine
Contributing Editor: Laser Focus World
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
v. 617-965-3834; fax 617-332-4760