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Re: If you had a time machine...

I'd like to thank everyone for their time machine suggestions.
I have compiled them all into a document and read them all to the powers that be. There were some great ideas in there! Some will certainly be used to in some form or another. If anybody thinks of a great little story idea of stuff you'd like to see, or an interesting interaction between creatures in the Mesozoic PLEASE don't hesitate to contact me. We have A LOT of stories to tell and anything that gets us away from screaming dinosaurs fighting everything that moves the better. Modern analogies are welcome.


David Krentz

On Oct 2, 2009, at 4:49 PM, Phillip Bigelow wrote:

"Ashley Fragomeni" <afragome@nhm.org> sat around a spell, did some thankin', then penned this query:

I've always wanted to know what dinosaur
EYES looked like.
Round pupil or slit?

If you believe that parsimony works in the case of bird eyes and non- avian theropod eyes, then non-avian theropod eyes probably had round pupils, as in birds.

Yellow or brown?

Yes. Don't forget tan, gray, green, black, and my favorite pupil color in birds, bright red. Curiously, a red pupil is most commonly observed in predatory birds. I don't know why.

After revisiting the original question of time travelin' to do some fancy observin', I think I would spend the majority of my time hopping out of the time machine in various Cretaceous times, scooping up a sample of soil, then jumping back into the time machine and traveling another 5 my and scooping up another sample of soil.

The soil biota in a Cretaceous sample may range into the thousands of different taxa per square centimeter. Most Cretaceous soil biota (most of which are bacteria) don't fossilize. The only microbial fossils are pollen, some spores, and the occassional cyst.

Culturing a petri dish full of Cretaceous soil microbes from various times, plus culturing a couple petri dishes of Cretaceous swamp water biota, would likely produce interesting results.

Did anyone know that microbial life comprises nearly 50% of the mass of some modern top soils?


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