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Sizes of fossils

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posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 03:32 PM
This has been bugging me for a while, so throw it in for discussion.

Has anyone else ever noticed the following....

Fossilized "Mares Tail" = Huge
Fossilized Mammoth = Huge

Non-fossilized Mares Tail (i.e. the stuff in your garden) = small
Non-fossilized Mammoth (i.e. the ones they find in peat bogs) = small (claimed to be an infant?)

Does anyone else have any examples that prove/disprove this (coz my 2 examples are a bit weak!)? Could fossilization (possibly in certain types of rock) enlarge the items we find? Could dinosaurs have been smaller than we believe?

posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 07:57 AM
What in the heck is a "Mare's tail"? The only scientific reference I have for this is a type of cloud.

And no, the mammoths found in peat bogs (well, actually in the tundra) are of varying size. They do have a calf (baby) or two, but there's a lot of the adult ones.

Fossilization doesn't enlarge or shrink things.

And you're confusing a few terms:

"fossilization" means that the creature's bones were replaced by rock minerals. Dino bones are fossils.

"Mummification" means that the creature's body is pretty much intact but the water was taken out of it by freezing or drying. Mammoth bodies are actually 30,000-70,000 year old mummies.

Dinos came in a range of sizes, from the very tiny to the "taller than a 5 story building" size. They didn't all live at the same time, but existed over a period of 300 million years... different species were alive at different times. After the age of the dinosaurs ended, the rise of the mammals began, and within the last 10 million years there was an Age Of Giant Mammals. Not all of them were giants; just a few (megatherion) and those would have made our modern elephants look dinky.

There's a whole bunch of good books on these at the library.

posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 02:26 PM
Thanks for the answer.

Mares Tail is a plant (weed) that is quite small that plagues gardens. In prehistoric times it was apparently very large. I've always wondered that what if it was really small and the fossilization process actually made things look bigger than they were.

Because I believe that there are shark fossils that are regular shark size I conjectured that it was possible that certain types of rock might affect the growth of a fossil.

I've not confused fossilization with mummification. I was acutally saying that mummification did not increase the size of the remains where as fossilization did. However from your post it looks like there is a substantial time difference between mummified remains and any fossil remains. Presumably those mummified remains would eventually become fossilized remains (and then grow even bigger

posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 03:47 PM
Oh. We probably call them horsetail rushes.

No, they really grew that big. Ditto other living prehistoric critters. Some of the ancient sharks grew to be modern whale sized.

There's nothing in the fossilization process that would expand the bones to a larger size. Furthermore, we have fossilized footprints of some of the dinos (and humans and mammals) that we match up to skeletons and show that yes, they were that size and that weight, too. (Australopithecus really was a short lil' hominid, and we have the footprints that show it as well.)

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