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RE: Terminology question.
The most conservative argument is that the tooth mark occurred in or around
death, before burial. We cannot presume the mark was made from scavenging,
although the frequency of it may, such as if there were multiple different
directions of mark, or many marks, but not necessarily parallel.
Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)
"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion
> Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 08:49:51 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Terminology question.
> If there's a theropod toothmark on a dinosaur bone and there's no sign of
> healing, but also no compelling reason to believe the bone was marked during
> scavenging, would that toothmark be considered a paleopathology? Would it
> just be assumed out of conservatism to be due to scavenging even in the
> absence of positive evidence for it just because there wasn't any evidence to
> support the idea that the mark was received while the subject was alive? Or,
> would it fall into a grey zone of "we're not sure whether this is a
> paleopathology or not". Basically I'm confused about the exact way that the
> term paleopathology is used when dealing with evidence for damage to bone
> that one can't be certain whether or happened before or after death. Could
> anyone help me out?
> ~ Abyssal