dinosaurs, skullbushes

From: John R. Hutchinson (theropod@garnet.berkeley.edu)
Date: Sat 17 Feb 1996 - 03:15:36 EET

        Well, since the subject of dinosaurs came up, and I guess I could
be called a professional paleontologist who works on dinosaurs, I had to
de-lurk and throw my hat in the ring. They're a great source for fantasy;
speculations of the possible existence of feathers, social behavior, etc.
The most reasonable suggestions have been that some of the bipedal
carnivores (theropods), which were the ancestors to the birds, may well
have had feathers (but we have NO direct evidence of this). I don't think
anyone reputable has seriously suggested that the non-carnivorous types
(i.e. the Earth Shakers) had feathers.

        But then again, we're talking Glorantha; fantasy. So I too say why
not have feathered dinosaurs, or frolicking, agile, warm-blooded Praxian
hunting theropods, or chameleon-skinned Stinking Forest ambushers? Let's
keep away from the sterile, juvenile Flintstones version and be creative.
(not that I agree with all of the pseudoscience that a few disreputable
dinosaur paleontologists spew forth)

        Anyway, I guess I do have something worthwhile to say: I'm
wondering about skullbushes -- the stories surrounding them (and their
pollinators, the skullbats), etc. They appear to be an important plant
species in Prax, so the natives must have many interesting myths and
traditions concerning them. How do they explain the bat connection (i.e.
Plants and Darkness?)? What's the story behind the skull motif?

                        John R. Hutchinson
                  Evolving Evolutionary Biologist
                 Department of Integrative Biology
                  3060 Valley Life Sciences Bldg
                University of California - Berkeley
                        Berkeley, CA 94720
                          (510) 643-2109


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