OCR Interpretation

The East Hampton Star. (East Hampton, N.Y.) 1885-current, December 29, 1977, Image 15

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Persistent link: http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/lccn/sn83030960/1977-12-29/ed-1/seq-15/

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THE EAST HAMPTON STAR, EAST HAMPTON, N.Y., DECEMBER 29, 1977 II—FIVE All Around Us Alexander Goldowsky As the column on the Paleozoic Era showed, we have quite a lot of information about the life forms which flourished during the various geologic eras. This information has come, almost exclusively, from fossils. Besides pro­ viding a visual record of the animals, or at least parts of the animals, fossils, if cleverly interpreted, can provide clues to, among other things, the climate, geological features as well as to the traits of the organism while it was living. The fossil record, however, could not exactly be called complete. The pro­ cesses of fossilization tend to require quite specific conditions, and all are selective, preserving only a few parti­ cular types of materials. Replacement The most common process in which materials are fossilized, that of re- SURROGATE’S COURT: SUFFOLK COUNTY CITATION THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK By the Grace of God Free and Independent TO EDWIN F. MAGUIRE, if living, being the son of the decedent HELEN C. MAGUIRE, and if dead, having predeceased decedent, his issue DOUG­ LAS MAGUIRE, residing at R.D. No. 1, Box 443 C, Chestnut Hill Road, Woodstock, New York 12498, CHERYL MAGUIRE OUTEDA, residing at Bridge Lane, P.0. Box 398, Port Jefferson, New York 11777, and his other issue, if any, or if dead having survived the decedent, his distrib­ utees, heirs at law, next of kin, executors, administrators, successors and assigns and any other persons who might have any interest in the Estate of HELEN C. MAGUIRE deceased, his distributees or otherwise, all of whose names, whereabouts and addresses are unknown and cannot be ascertained with due diligence; JULIA CAREW, SOUTHAMPTON HOSPITAL ASSO­ CIATION and HON. LOUIS J. LEF- KOWITZ, Attorney General and MAR­ JORIE ROTH. A petition having been duly filed by THOMAS J. BOURKE who is domic­ iled at 47 Old Town Crossing, South­ ampton, New York 11968. YOU ARE HEREBY CITED TO SHOW CAUSE before the Surrogate’s Court, Suffolk County, at the County Center, Riverhead, in the County of Suffolk, New York, on January 17,1978 at 9:30 o’clock in the forenoon of that day why the account of proceedings of THOMAS J. BOURKE as Executor of the estate of HELEN C. MAGUIRE, deceased, should not be judicially settled. Dated, Attested and Sealed Nov. 28, 1977. HON. ERNEST L. SIGNORELLI, Surrogate Merwin S. Woodard, Chief Clerk Name of Attorney BOURKE and BATES, ESQS. Tel. No. (516) 283-0046 Address of Attorney 21 South Main Street Southampton, New York 11968 Note: This citation is served upon you as required by law. You are not obliged to appear in person. If you fail to appear it will be assumed that you do not object to the relief requested. You have a right to have an attorney- at-law appear for you. 15-4 placement, for example, will only work with fairly hard substances; such as shells, corals, and occasionally wood. During the replacement process, water, containing dissolved minerals such as silica, slowly dissolves the original materials and leaves its own minerals in their place. Another common means of fossiliza­ tion is that of molds and casts; and again, it will only occasionally preserve soft-bodied animals and plants, though it can preserve footprints. To be preserved in this method, the shell or tracks must last long enough to be completely covered by mud or sand. The covering begins to harden, thus holding the shape of the shell, which by this time has disintegrated. Deposits As the mold sits, mineral-laden subsurface water circulates through the sediments, slowly filling the mold with deposits of minerals such as quartz. A third method that is of importance because it often preserves bones as well as shells is “permineralization.” Rather than replacing substances, ground water during this process simply deposits sediments in the air spaces of the bones, adding strength and protection. Luckily, there are ways in which soft animals and plants can be preserved, one being carbonization. The fossil, in this case, consists of a thin layer of carbon left as the sole remainder as the more volatile com­ ponents of the embedded plant or animal dissipated. Buried or Embedded Although not as common as the preceding four methods, plants or animals are occasionally fossilized when buried with volcanic ash or become embedded in amber (hardened conifer resin) or in tar pits. Rarely, an entire animal may be frozen, as in the case of one or two woolly mammoths which were found perfectly preserved in sub-polar ice. Since in nearly all of these methods, the subject must be buried in sediment in order to be preserved, it stands to reason that the oldest fossils will be found below the newer ones. There are, however, complications. Erosion Sediments are rarely continuously built up in one spot. Rather, there are periods when erosion occurs as well as geologic activity. One way in which various layers, and thereby the fossils in them, can be dated, is by using so-called index fossils. These consist of, often micro­ scopic, fossils which were produced in great abundance but only for a well-defined time period. Because of the usually obvious differences between marine and ter­ restrial life one can also tell exactly which areas of the earth were under seas during which period as well as their depth. By determining the amount of water in open seas an idea of how much water is locked in polar caps is gained. This, in turn, would yield clues as to the period’s climate. And indeed, recent calculations based on this principle have been made. Of course, this can also be deduced from the types of animals living and dying during the period. The Dinosaurs But perhaps the most interesting work being done with fossils is with the dinosaurs. As any “This Is A Dinosaur” book will tell you, dinosaurs were reptiles and therefore cold-blooded. Or were they? This is not easy to decide with only bones remaining. But if, one argument supporting the new theory runs, they were cold­ blooded, they would have a slow metabolism and would need relatively little food. There would therefore be fairly equal numbers of prey and predator species. If, on the other hand, some were warm-blooded, each preda­ tor would require numerous prey animals to sustain this added energy Page two of the Star, where the obituaries are, is purportedly ex­ cerpted twice in Berton Roueche’s latest novel, “Fago.” Each time the Star gets a certain crucial fact wrong. But so do the police, and no one, after the second obit, is left to set them straight. Mr. Roueche lives in Amagansett, and a number of local places are recognizable in his book, as is a mood or predicament of post-season ennui, from which his characters contrive an un­ palatable escape. They are a seemingly typical retired couple who have learned “that there is nothing cheap (except clams, if you dig them yourself) about living in the country.” They differ from most retired coup- L o n g I sland BOOKS les, however, somewhat as the cats in Mr. Roueche’s earlier Amagansett-set horror story, “Feral,” differ from typical tabbies. What they are up to is disclosed with craftily drawn-out circumspection, so that “Fago,” even while straining credulity from time to time, is likely to be read in one (short: 143 pages) sitting. The reader may also De tempted to wonder whether, some­ where among the thousands of obit­ uaries the Star has in fact published, a similar sinister misapprehension could perhaps be lurking. “Fago” is a “Harper Novel of Suspense” and sells for $8.95. V. Schaffner drain. Sure enough, the prey dinosaurs in most collections far outnumber the predators. Wind-Tunnels This is only one of numerous sup­ porting arguments. One of the more flamboyant ones involved placing stylized Stegosaurus in wind-tunnels to find, by trial and error, the arrange­ ment of plates which would most efficiently radiate heat and provide the cooling necessary to a warm-blooded animal. The arrangement they came up with was an alternating double row of plates. Since it would be hard to circulate blood through the corners of a square, the plates would logically be diamond-shaped. It was just such an arrangement of plates (originally these were thought to serve only as protective armor which they also seem well-adapted for) which prevailed upon the backs of Stego­ saurus. The shortcomings of talking to stone walls have often been emphasized, however, if it just happens to be composed of nice, Devonian shale. . . .

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