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Re: Triceratops sprawl

On Mon, 5 Feb 1996, Nicholas R. Longrich wrote:

>       There's no proof that protoceratopsids as a group evolved in
> the deserts of Mongolia. All we know is that a couple branches of the 
> marginocephalian family tree- Protoceratops and Psittacosaurus- show up 
> there, which proves only that Protoceratops and Psittacosaurus lived in 
> Mongolia. Their ancestors could have lived anywhere in asia, and probably 
> did live all across asia, the only thing special about Mongolia is that it
> has the right conditions for these animals to show up. Their ancestors 
> could have evolved in any number of places besides dunes.

Interesting note:  two of the three genera of the basal marginocephalian 
family Chaoyoungosauridae (_Chaoyounosaurus_ and _Xuanhuasaurus_) are indeed 
from Asia; the third (_Stenoplix_) is from Europe, of all places.

We must bear in mind, here, that the best Early Cretaceous Laurasian 
fossil hunting grounds happen to be in Asia, possibly skewing our 
perceptions of dinosaur distribution in this time period.

>       -Nick L.

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S. Truman