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RE Our lack of looking for those mammals...
I don't know any dinosaur paleontologist who doesn't look very hard to
try and find not only mammals, but all other aspects of the fauna as well.
It is what sets apart the current batch of paleo field people from some of
the early field guys, who tended to look for large things. It is why we are
having such a great explosion of great finds for all groups during the
And besides, I think it is the dream of every dinosaur paleontologist to
find a complete Mesozoic mammal splayed out like the Mongolian stuff
tends to be, just to see the mammal people salivate and trip over each
other being nice to us because the want to describe it. We do the same
thing every time one of them finds a neat dino.
Happily, we have excellent paleontologists like Cifelli and Kraus & Co.
helping develop and mine out promising areas.
It is important also to remember, for those without the experience, that
we don't tend to just dig but find evidence of fossil stuff and dig where
we found it - or, in the case of mammals, run a lot of sediment through
I'm just starting to work on methods for laboratory and field exploration
for finding fossils in rock using technology, hope to catch up with those
heavily into it like Gillette and lots of mammal types. That may make it
easier to find the small things like the mammals. We all want lots and lots
of mammals if, for anything, to show just how pathetic the group was
during the day of dinosaur ;-). And besides, dinosaurs are still more
Anyway, hopefully that fiction is done with.