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K-T & Accessory Fauna

RE: Larry Smith's question on more info on the accessory fauna
skitterring around during dino times. A recent book that I have on
order is Fraser,N. & Hans Sues. 1994. In the Shadow of the Dinosaurs.
I think it's published by Cambridge Press. It should have various
papers on the accessory terrestrial fauna during the dino part of
the Mesozoic. There are also various books/papers on Mesozoic mammals
including a big one by, I think Zofia Kielen-Jaworowska, on Mesozoic
mammals although it'll be a bit old by now. Lots of papers are being
published on Mesozoic birds and mammals these days it's tough to keep
up and there seems to be a high point going on on Mesozoic insects,
especially among the Russians. These are exciting times for non-dinos
as well as dinos. I hope the AMNH gang will get info, maybe a picture
book, out on their Cretaceous mammal stuff, soon although I don;t know
if that is at all in the works. One of the neatest areas is one where
Hans Sues is working - in the Late Triassic where the dino line
and the Mammal-Like-Reptile line are duking it out (we lost!).
There should be some exciting stuff in this area over the next 5 years
or so.

RE: K-T - although my own opinion pretty much converges on Tom's,
which happens a hell of a lot, by the way, we would be wrong not
to mention that there are problems in documenting the decline of the
dinos towards the K-T boundary because of what's called the Signor-
Lipps Effect - a sampling problem. Given the rarity of dinos in general,
it's tough to tell if the decline is real or just an artifact of
sampling a rare group around a boundary. I think both effects are in work
here, but we'll need to see how the data develop. The Signor-Lipps effect
will mean there'll always be an apparent decline with, perhaps, a barren zone
but the size of it will decline with better sampling. More work is needed
here, both in collecting and in analyzing the sampling effects with simulations
etc. I know Jere Lipps has been doing this and will probably continue. I had
planned to but was pretty impressed by his work presented at GSA this past
Fall and will have to think harder to figure out something to do that they
haven't - that's worth it that is.

Ralph Chapman, NMNH