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Re: Tyrannosaur landscapes

> 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. 

     Kirk Johnson has conducted unbeleivibly ambitious studies of the
distribution of leaves in modern forests in an attempt to understand plant
leaf taphonomy.  Things like mapping out every tree in a small area,
cutting down trees and counting every single leaf, studying the local or
outside distribution of plant leaves in stream beds, and how long these
tend to survive.  I do not remember the details of his results, but he
seemed to think they gave him a good understanding of what was going on
with the Hell Creek flora.

LN Jeff