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Re: Ponderings



Could the existence of no skeletal physical features such as an elephants trunk on camels hump be discerned from the skeletal structure alone?

I don't know about the hump, but the trunk is easy: position of the nostrils of the skull, size of holes for certain nerves...


Could the tubular bone on Parasaurolophus have been a either a support or a counter weight for a display feature?

Sure, but this was clearly not its only function -- otherwise, why would it have such a complex structure internally?


Were dinosaurs conclusively reptiles or does the warm blooded/cold blooded debate keep this classification as questionable?

Depends on what, if anything, "reptile" means. You have been introduced to the view of using the word "reptile" for what is already called "sauropsid" -- i. e., birds are reptiles, but the "mammal-like reptiles" are not. IMNSHO it makes more sense to just drop the term.


The trick is, most of us don't want to name groups anymore that contain less than an ancestor and all its descendants, and this is what the traditional reptiles are. Always keep the tree in mind (here reduced to show only the living):

--+--mammals
 `--+--turtles
    `--+--lizards including snakes
       `--+--birds
          `--crocodiles

Have any KT fossils of a dinosaur ever been founding with evidence of burning?? If a dinosaur were far enough away from the asteriod impact to have survived but not survived the resulting fires, would the fire have left traces on fossilized bone?

No such thing has been found, but keep in mind that we don't have dinosaur fossils from every year, or even every millennium.


Finally, as millions of plants and animals die, the material that breaks down adds to soil depth, along with the defecation of living creatures, so wouldn't the earth's crust be much thicker now then it was when dinosaurs existed??

One word: erosion. Oh, and, another: plate tectonics.