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Re: Dino Art

From: Robert J Meyerson <meyersrt@uwec.edu> (Rob Meyerson)

 > The fall colors have put me in an imaginative mood:
 > Does anyone know about the state of angiosperm development in the Late
 >  Cretaceous?

In some ways very advanced.

Almost all major magnoliid groups already existed (such as tuliptrees,
magnolias, laurels, water lilies and so on). Also, the hammamelid
radiation was well under way: witch hazels, sycamores (platanus that is),
early members of the beech/oak/chestnut group, and other similar trees.
There were also members of other fairly derived groups, such as roses
buckthorns, aralias, elms, possibly maples. There were also palms, and
probable pandans.

However, the evidecne seems to be that in most habitats conifers and
ginkgos were still the dominant trees, with the angiosperms being mostly
successional or seral or arid zone species.

 >  More importantly, is it possible that the species that lived
 >  near the poles could have dropped their leaves ..

If my memory serves, some of the maple-like leaves come from northern
North America, perhaps even from Alaska.

Also, my own impression of the flora of the Lance/Hell Creek beds in
Montana and the Dakotas is of a mixed broad-leaf deciduous/broad-leaf
evergreen forest on the better drained parts of the floodplains. One
of the most common leaves in these formations is a leaf nearly identical
to the leaves of chestnuts.  There were also elm-like leaves and elm-like
fruits. Some localities are dominated by willow-like leaves, and
there is an admixture of vaguely oakish leaves. In addition there
are many laurel and magnolia leaves.

[The swamps, of course, were dominated by redwoods - just as their
modern relatives, the bald cypress, dominate the swamps of the
SE USA today].

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.