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RE: Dinosaur urine?
That, regrettably, was not the best SVP poster and should be taken with
a grain of salt. I know the depression in question.
Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205
for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf
Of Brad McFeeters
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:31 PM
Subject: Re: Dinosaur urine?
McCarville, K. & G.A. Bishop, 2002. To pee or not to pee: Evidence for
liquid urination in sauropod dinosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate
One of North America's most significant dinosaur trackway localities is
in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation within the Comanche National
Grasslands along the Purgatoire River, south of the town of La Junta,
Colorado. The sedimentary rocks at this locality are interpreted as
having been deposited in a lacustrine environment. The Purgatoire
Tracksite includes five stratigraphic levels containing more than 1300
footprints attributable to about 100 individual sauropod and therapod
dinosaurs. At the top of Bed 2 is a surface that is marked with 40
sauropod trackways and 43 therapod trackways. At the same stratigraphic
level is an enigmatic bilaterally symmetric bathtub-shaped depression
approximately 3 m long, 1.5 m wide, and 25-30 cm deep whose origin has
heretofore remained obscure. Based on examination of a cross sectional
view of the structure and comparison to similar experimental scours
formed in laminated sand at St. Catherine's Island, Georgia, this
structure is interpreted as a scoured basin formed by a stream of fluid
impinging on the sediment from above and filled with sediment derived
from within the basin itself. On the nearly flat lake shore, the only
source of such an elevated fluid stream would be animals crossing the
area. The volume of fluid required to form a scour structure as large as
the one in question suggests it may represent the expulsion of liquid
urine from one of the sauropod dinosaurs crossing the tracksite.
>From: Donna Braginetz <email@example.com>
>To: DML <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Dinosaur urine?
>Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2006 13:11:42 -0700
>Phil Bigelow wrote:
> > Nonavian theropods would likely have had an excretory system similar
> > to birds. Non-theropod dinosaurs, that's anyone's guess.
>A few SVP meetings ago there was a poster reporting on a bathtub-sized
>depression which was interpreted as the possible result of a sauropod
>voiding liquid urine. I don't recall the author's name or any other
>details. Can someone fill us in?
>-- Donna Braginetz