Re: Unsubstantiated Rumor (Question)

John Wilkins (
Mon, 14 Aug 1995 12:03:00 +1000

In article <40ctek$>, (HARRY R.
ERWIN) wrote:

| Rich Travsky (rtravsky@UWYO.EDU) wrote:
| : manders@Direct.CA (Mitchell Anderson) writes:
| : > Three times over the last ten years, I've heard a
| : >rumor about a find in Alberta. Apparently, two near-
| : >complete skeletons were found in association with
| : >stone tools. This isn't a big deal unless you consider
| : >the rest of the rumor... man-sized, opposable-thumbed,
| : >dinosaur with a cranial capacity similar to ours?!?
| : > I heard that the Canadian Government made
| : >the fossils disappear & that the paleontologists involved
| : >were happy the same didn't happen to them.
| : >
| : > Can anyone elucidate?
| : Sculley - Mulder - you're going to Canada on the next flight.
| : rich
| About 10 years ago, a speculative reconstruction of a possible theropod
| descendent was published in (I think) Before Man that represented the path
| evolution _might_ have taken if the Cretaceous extinctions had not
| intervened. It was man-sized, three-fingered with an opposable thumb,
| large-brained, etc. It is republished from time to time in the popular
| press. (I don't know what the tabloids do with it, but I can certainly
| imagine.) This is the source of your rumor. The ancenstry of this beast
| was real--Saurornithoides, a very late Cretaceous dinosaur related to
| Deinonychus (the 'raptor' of Jurassic Park) but scaled down a bit. The
| Encephalization Quotient was in the bird range, probably making it very
| bright for a dinosaur, but hardly competitive with a monkey.
Interesting. Harry Harrison may have based _East of Eden_ on that, too.

John "Chris" Wilkins, Assoc. Prof. of Recent Runes, Uni of Ediacara
(Also: Head of Communication Services, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute)
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.