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Re: Matt Wedel on the perils of doing documentaries

......Even if it had I think it would have needed some hops to get going.

That would have been not only unnecessary for a terrestrial launch, but also quite counter-productive for the terrestrial launch. Run the numbers and take a good look at the fused sesimoid at the antero-proximal end of Phalange IV-1.

There is no evidence that Quetz was a baby-eater. And no evidence that they weren't. No stomach contents have been found for Quetz, and insofar as I know, no significant soft tissue preservation. I would expect fast twitch muscles to be present, but see no need for nor evidence of super-fast. I wouldn't put too much weight in the CGI (note though, that I didn't bother to watch the program -- I don't care for this sort of "documentary"). Mike's analysis of the terrestrial launch is correct, and is virtually identical in kinetics with the independent terrestrial launch analysis I did for a conference presentation back in February 1999. I based my original analysis on Quetzalcoatlus species and extended it to Q northropi. I believe Mike did his mostly on Anhanguera piscator with cross checks against several other species. We think much alike on many topics and independently drew the same conclusion about terrestrial launch mechanics. Re food gathering, keep in mind that the Quetz cervical articulation range was very un-storklike, suggesting that food gathering mechanisms may have also been somewhat un-storklike. I don't think anyone yet knows the answer to quetz food gathering techniques. I do think that like most predators, they would likely snarf up any tasty and malodrous goody that they happened to run across.

All the best,

----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrew Simpson" <deathspresso@yahoo.com>
To: <tholtz@umd.edu>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>; <VRTPALEO@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:22 PM
Subject: Re: Matt Wedel on the perils of doing documentaries

I was so exited when I stumbled upon Clash of the Dinosaurs. I watched Perfect Predators. My sis was there to hear me counter much of the science. There was one or two things that were interesting enough that I didn't know for sure one way or the other and wanted to ask ya'll on the list about said but those questions are forgotten. Something about T-Rex I had never heard before. Oh and I'm not sure I believe a Quetzalcoatlus could leap into the air so easily. Did it really have super fast twitch muscles? Even if it had I think it would have needed some hops to get going. Even the bad CGI seems to suggest this.

And why do we think it was a baby eater? It might have been but have we found babies in it's tummy?

In the end I had to turn off the series 5 minutes into the 2nd episode for the reasons stated. Bad science, repetitive narration and the pain of watching the same 5 clips shown over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over was too much for me. When a dinosaur fiend like myself can't watch you're dinosaur show then you get an epic FAIL as your grade.

Andrew Simpson

----- Original Message ----
From: "Thomas R. Holtz, Jr." <tholtz@umd.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu; VRTPALEO@usc.edu
Sent: Tue, December 15, 2009 6:30:14 AM
Subject: Matt Wedel on the perils of doing documentaries


Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu    Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:    Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
           Department of Geology
           Building 237, Room 1117
           University of Maryland
           College Park, MD 20742 USA