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New Zealand dinos
> The second is a neat paper by Ralph Molnar and J. Wiffen (Cretaceous
>Research, 15:689-706, 1994) on a Late Cretaceous polar dinosaur fauna from
>New Zealand. Although the material is generally scrappy, Ralph and J.
>seem to have material from a large theropod, a sauropod, an ankylosaur
>(maybe Mimni) and a pterosaur. They suggest differences with the
>equivalent faunas from Australia (vicariance assumed) and suggest that
>both large and small forms were able to make a living in cool to cold-temperate
>seasonal New zealand climates. Neat. May argue against just migration,
>but haven't read it yet.
Just read the paper on Monday, and it's very nice. Molnar and Wiffen
comment on the potential conections between NZ and Antarctica in the Late
Cretaceous, and indeed the two known Late K dinos from Antarctica are a
dryomorph-like ornithopod and an ankylosaurian (?nodosaurid). Of course,
these similarities may be due to shared primitive faunae (both groups had
near-global distribution in the Early Cretaceous), but I wouldn't be too
surprised if the genera or even species of Campanian New Zealand and
Campanian Antarctic dinos are the same.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile Phone: 703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey FAX: 703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA 22092