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Re: Dino gall bladders

On Sun, 20 Aug 2000 Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:

> The question came up at the Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette website about 
> whether or not dinosaurs had gall bladders. I figure if crocs and birds had 
> them, then dinos probably had them, too; but I don't know whether these 
> groups have them. Would like to know whether they do.

Crocs certainly do have gall bladders. We have dissected baby salties
(C. porosus) for second
year vertebrate morphology practical classes. One interesting
observation is that as freshness fades away, one of the first noticeable
changes in the carcass is that the bile leaks out and heavily stains the
anterior trunk region (it even turns the skin of the chest green). This
has serious iumplications for the work of Ruben et al, who think that
the liver was very big in Scipionyx and could function as an hepatic
piston. If the dark splodge that shows up under UV light is an
indication of  bile pigments, then it will tell us nothing about the
original size of the liver because these pigments can be spread much
further than the boundaries of the gall bladder and even the liver with
just a day or to of decay (with all other organs still intact).