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Re: Bird/hibernation/torpor



At 10:48 AM 4/1/97 -0500, John Bois wrote:
>Then allow me to drive you nuts with one last question.  I think you
>are saying that dry-tolerant ferns were the major fodder for open-
>country dinosaurs in the late cretaceous.  Do you think they could
>support the biomass that modern savannah grasses can,

Almost certainly.  Have you ever seen a bracken meadow?  It is every bit as
dense and tall as a grass meadow.

> and do you think their range was
>as broad as the grasses?
>
Probably not quite.  I suspect in really arid environments they tended to
be dormant most of the time.  This may be why dune seas are so common in
the Mesozoic.


By the way, I would add quillworts to the general ground cover.  They, too,
can deal with surprisingly arid habitats for a form with flagellated sperm.
 Even today there are some growing in harsh subalpine "grasslands" (not
just meadows - wet grasslands - either).

--------------
May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com
                                          sfriesen@netlock.com