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Giant Cretaceous flightless bird



 
Regarding the discovery of Gargantuavis philoinos Jeff Hecht wrote:
 
>It's worth noting that southern France and Iberia at that point were an
island, probably somewhat larger than Madagascar.
 
However, it is very hard to draw a map of Europe in Cretaceous (any part of it). Only one thing is for certain: it was a very dynamic shallow sea area with constantly emerging and submerging parts of dry land. Rather than thinking of Europe at the time as scattered islands ( I think it was never like that - too many giant animals!) it was a combination of very big and smaller islands frequently connected with land bridges. In the Lower Cretaceous bridges obviously connected European area with North Africa on one side and Eastern North America on the other. Argument: similarity of dinosaur faunas (i.e. Baryonyx in Europe and Africa; Brachiosaurs in N. America, Europe and Africa). Recently, the rich bone bed has been discovered in the Barremian of Istria, Croatia. This area has often been drawn in most of the maps featuring the Cretaceous times as a small island. However, the finds of Brachiosaur bones (the animal must have reached 20 - 25 meters) suggested a much, much bigger land area to support such an animal. (Has anybody calculated the size of the land sufficient to support with food and living space a giant sauropod? I have read Farlow's calculations for big theropods). Tracks of big dinosaurs can be found in Istria throughout the Cretaceous. Therefore I would go easy with defining any area in the Cretaceous of Europe as an island (maybe only Romania).
 
 
 
Berislav Krzic
veselinka.stanisavac@siol.net
Beri's Dinosaur World
http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/Lab/1638/index.html
http://www2.siol.net/ext/zza/index.html