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Evidence for nocturnality in dinosaurs challenged



From: Ben Creisler
bscreisler@yahoo.com
 
 These Technical Comments from the latest issue of Science have not be cited 
yet on the DML:
 
Margaret I. Hall, E. Christopher Kirk, Jason M. Kamilar & Matthew T. Carrano 
(2011)
Comment on "Nocturnality in Dinosaurs Inferred from Scleral Ring and Orbit 
Morphology."
Science 23 December 2011: 
Vol. 334 no. 6063 p. 1641 
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208442 
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6063/1641.2.abstract
 
Schmitz and Motani (Reports, 6 May 2011, p. 705) claimed to definitively 
reconstruct activity patterns of Mesozoic archosaurs using the anatomy of the 
orbit and scleral ring. However, we find serious flaws in the data, methods, 
and interpretations of this study. Accordingly, it is not yet possible to 
reconstruct the activity patterns of most fossil archosaurs with a high degree 
of confidence. 
 
====
Lars Schmitz & Ryosuke Motani (2011)
Response to Comment on "Nocturnality in Dinosaurs Inferred from Scleral Ring 
and Orbit Morphology."
Science 334 (6063): 1641 
DOI: 10.1126/science.1208489 
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6063/1641.3.abstract
 
Hall et al. claim that it is not yet possible to infer the diel activity 
patterns of fossil archosaurs with high confidence. We demonstrate here that 
this assertion is founded on unscreened data, untenable assumptions, and 
inappropriate methods. Our approach follows ecomorphological and phylogenetic 
principles in a probabilistic framework, resulting in statistically 
well-supported reconstructions of diel activity patterns in Mesozoic 
archosaurs.