[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: AMPHIBIOUS DINOSAURS
On Thu, 21 Nov 1996, Darren Naish wrote:
> The 'marine sloth', _Thalassonectes_ (that may be spelt wrong), is a rather
> controversial form. De Muizon et al suggested that it was truly adapted for a
> life in the sea - it's tibia is longer than its femur for example ('classic
> marine adaptation' in mammals). While I'm pretty certain that it could swim if
> it had to, and it did eat kelp (it lived on a coastal desert plain), I don't
> why it couldn't just wander out at low tide to browse on the kelp, like some
> populations of deer and sheep do in the Scottish islands. No real evidence
> it was out there swimming around like a giant sea otter. In fact, with
> _Carcharocles megalodon_ out there, this may have been a tad risky.
There was one completely marine kelp-eater, Steller's sea cow,
which unfortunately was wiped out in the 17th century by Russian
seafarers. I wonder if, however, it had not suffered previous hunting at
the hands of the Alaska natives, who are capable whalers, to say nothing
of their ability to hunt a slow-moving creature like the sea-cow which,
according to Steller, was not even capable of diving. There is almost
nothing today known of them except for a few fragments Stellar was able
to save. It would be interesting to see if there are any fossils,
I hadn't heard the thing was supposed to be a kelp-eater though.
I would have thought something more along the lines of sea grasses?
This seems to be another niche strangely absent from the
Mesozoic, the marine herbivore.