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Old 12th July 2006, 07:30 AM   #13
desertyeti's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 835
Hey all,
First-time poster, long-time lurker. well, not really that long. I'm the author of the Skookum Cast first-draft preliminary study above. I have an M.S. in paleontology and a Ph.D. in sedimentary geology, and have worked extensively with ichnofossils for about 12 years. The reaction on the BFF was about what I expected. Despite having never seen it, or an elk trace for that matter, several of the BFers launched the predictable "who the hell are didn't study it long enough...why should we take your word over our 'experts?!'" type of tyrade. Many more however, were actually complimentary of my study.

Mark Elbroch, whose book I used as a conveneient, authoritative, and recent reference in the hopes that BFers would actually take the time to investigate how "real" trackers work, has weighed in and agrees with my interpetation as well. There is no controversy as to the identity of this particular cast. Anyone with one working eye and an ounce of common sense can see that it's an elk or large deer trace.

I should also clarrify that Rick Noll's help on the matter consists of critiques, not actually providing any data or additional information. He's my litmus test, and I appreciate his attempts to punch holes in my observations. They help strengthen the overall study.

As for Meldrum's book and publications, I actually am toying with the idea of submitting a final draft of this work to Ichnos or a similar journal. Meldrum's book can include or exclude whatever he wants. Everyone I've spoken to in academic circles thinks it'd be a real hoot if I published this note, and help liven up the sometimes less than action-packed ichnofossil publications. We'll see. Anyway, thanks and I look forward to haunting this forum in future!
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