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Re: Spanish Moss

At 05:44 PM 04/11/97 +0000, you wrote:
> Living in New Jersey has some good points, contrary to popular belief. I
>was able to pick up a copy of Dodson's_The Horned Dinosaurs_ for $9.99 at a
>Princeton bookstore the other day. Wayne Barlowe's color plates are quite
>excellent. I have a question for you all about the dust jacket painting of
>Chasmosaurus in a cypress swamp. The painting is superb, but I remember
>hearing once that Spanish Moss is a post-Mesozoic taxon and as evocative and
>dramatic as it is, unfortunately should be avoided by paleoartists in their
>non-avian dinosaur restorations. Is this a valid statement?

Whatever the age of Spanish Moss (which is a monocot in the family
Bromeliaceae and is therefore a pretty derived plant), the stuff in the
painting could just as easily be a lichen similar to the modern Usnea,
which has a very similar growth habit (at least from a distance).  I don't
know the geological age of Usnea, but I assume that there were lichens in
the Cretaceous.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net