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Tyrannosaur landscapes



John Bois correctly states, "I don't know why _T.rex_ would be a forest bound
animal."
Surely there is a bias toward a forested environment in the fossil record due
to the depositional environment which is usually water dependant. Kirk
Johnson of the Denver Museum of Natural History has been collecting an
incredible array of new leaf taxons from the Hell Creek Formation. In his
North Dakota sites, the leaves are in stream channel sands that may show a
bias toward the vegetation that lived close to the stream channels. If one
were to take that as the prevailing regime, one could also say that the
modern North Dakota landscape would be a cottonwood forest. Of course nothing
could be further from the truth. Pollen analysis and leaf shape are much
better indicators of what kind of landscape the Cretaceous predators would
prowl.
Ferns, I have heard (and Bois also states) probably inhabited many niches
they are missing from today. Note all the fern varieties in Doug Henderson's
restorations. At any rate, I'm an old enough of a fogey to remember a
Triceratops pasted on a Zallinger painting of a tropical rain forest from
_The World We Live In_as the paradigm of the Hell Creek. I could never figure
out what would happen if that Triceratops should have to run forward or have
to turn around. I've seen moose do it in heavy brush, but Triceratops?
Dan Varner.