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Re: Survival

At 06:54 PM 7/27/98 -0500, Craig Heinselman wrote:
>        Many of you are more knowledgeable on dinosaur matters than me, but
>I wish to submit a question or two for perusal:
>1) What are the possibilities that certain dinosaur species survived into
>"recent history" (i.e. last 2000 years) in isolated areas of the world?

It would be difficult to judge the word "possibilities" here.  Ignoring (for
the moment) the survivial of about 10,000 species of birds in the modern
world, there is no *evidence* for the survival of any nonavian dinosaur in
the last 65 million years.

Might some nonavian dinosaur have stuck around undetected in the whole of
the Cenozoic?  Possibly.  Might there be trilobites in my septic tank.
Sure.  Might there be a Vorlon looking over your shoulder THIS VERY INSTANT?
Sure.  Is there evidence for any of these?  No.  Are there observations to
suggest otherwise for these?  Yes (the absence of nonavian dinosaurs or
trilobites in the post-Cretaceous and post-Permian record, respectively; the
fact the Vorlons are fictional).

Direct physical remains of a modern nonavian dinosaur, a trilobite, or a
Vorlon would be sufficient to demonstrate that they did survive until recent
times.  However, there is absolutely no evidence to suspect that they did.

>2) What are the possibilities that aquatic reptiles, such as plesiosaur,
>survived into "recent history" in the oceans/seas of the world?
>3) What are the possibilities that aquatic reptiles survived into "recent
>history" in inland lakes, such as Loch Ness?

Same as before: there is no *evidence* for the survival of plesiosaurs,
ichthyosaurs, mosasaurs, etc. into the Cenozoic Era, much less the Common
Era (aka A.D.).

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661