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Re: 'Kitchen science' reveals dinosaurs died in agony

The opisthotonic posture of vertebrate skeletons: postmortem
contraction or death throes?

Paleobiology, 33(2), 2007, pp. 201â226

In short, the evidence is largely empirical in that ctrolled "kitchen science" experiments do not result in opisthotonic death poses in extant ectothermic organisms, but do in endothermic ones. Additionally, fossil mammals, pterosaurs, and dinosaurs (including birds) produce such death postures, but other fossil taxa do not, including long-necked taxa such as plesiosaurs.

Since opisthotonic death poses are only produced by damage (e.g. lack of oxygen) to the central nervous system, they propose the mechanism is that the cerebellum (which normally inhibits contraction) of high-oxygen consumption animals (endotherms) are more susceptible to oxygen starvation than that of low metabolic-rate organisms, whose brains normally operate with lower levels of oxygen on a daily basis.

It looks like solid work to me, and is consistent with other data including growth rates, increased pulminary capacity (air sacs in saurischians), increased locomotor ability relative to more basal archosaurs, and increased food-gathering and processing abilities (most notably in ornithscians).

Scott Hartman Science Director Wyoming Dinosaur Center 110 Carter Ranch Rd. Thermopolis, WY 82443 (800) 455-3466 ext. 230 Cell: (307) 921-8333


-----Original Message----- From: Jura <pristichampsus@yahoo.com> To: dinosaur@usc.edu Sent: Wed, 6 Jun 2007 12:19 pm Subject: Re: 'Kitchen science' reveals dinosaurs died in agony

Wow, that was...completely useless. Does anyone have
the actual title of the paper. I'd love to read the
reasoning behind why only "warm-blooded" creatures die
in agony.

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