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Re: teacher needs dino info

>I am getting ready to discuss pleisosaurs with my students and am going
>to introduce them to Nessie as a theory that there may still be a
>dinosaur or two around.  I will also tell them about the japanees
>fishing boat incident.
>It is information like this that i am looking for.  things that would
>really catch their attention and make learning about dinosaurs fun.
>Tim Baker

Good Lord... Please do some reading on this first!

1.  Plesiosaurs are NOT dinosaurs - in fact they are more distantly related
to dinosaurs than are living lizards and snakes.  They belong to a quite
different reptilian line.  Not every large reptile from the Mesozoic was a
dinosaur!  NONE of the marine reptiles - mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, pliosaurs,
"geosaurs" (actually marine crocodiles), placodonts etc - are dinosaurs.
Neither are pterosaurs, though they are much more closely related to them
than the other animals I have mentioned.

2.  There is no hard, unequivocal evidence for Nessie.  The so-called
photographs are either outright frauds, heavily retouched or inconclusive -
IMHO there is no such animal, and it is remotely unlikely that it would be
a dinosaur if there were.

3.  If by the "japanese fishing boat incident" you mean the so-called
"plesiosaur" carcass hauled up in the south Pacific, this was
unquestionably the rotting carcass of a basking shark.  Basking Sharks are
well known to decay in such a way as to produce a remarkably
"plesiosaur"-like shape, and have been responsible for as number of "sea
serpent" reports.

4.  If you want to tell your students about living dinosaurs, just ask them
to look out a window.  It is almost universally accepted today, except by a
few diehards, that birds are direct descendants of small meat-eating
dinosaurs related to Velociraptor - or, to be more precise, birds are
dinosaurs, and therefore there are actually more species of dinosaurs
living today than there are species of living mammals!
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net