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>>From the discussion I take it we're pretty confident that the terrain in 
>which these fossil remains were found has remained relatively unchanged since 
>the animals' internment?  How old is that lake?  Have the flora changed 
>substantially in the intervening millions of years?  There may be some 
>erroneous assumptions underlying hypothetical habitat scenarios and 
>subsequent behavior speculations.  Archaeopterix could only be a "shore bird" 
>if there was a shore there at the time...


We WERE talking about the paleoenvironment.  The Solnhofen region of Bavaria
is not now a carbonate lagoonal environment, but it was in the Late Jurassic.

It was not a lake, but was a marine environment.  The plants have changed
substantially (as have the animals), but these are all recorded in the
fossil record.

However, with the presence of Confuciusornis, we know that Late Jurassic
birds were more widely distributed with regards to geography.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661