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Re: 1st Inland sea incursion
I think a book you'd really find helpful is Alan G. Smith, David G.
Smith, Brian M. Funnell, Atlas of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Coastlines,
(Cambridge UP: 1994). I wish I could quote them here on when the
incursion began but I only have some xeroxes in my file, dealing with
the KT boundary. And Erle G. Kauffman has published extensively on
topics related to the sea, of course. Mike Everheart's "Oceans of
Kansas" website is also outstanding. The AMNH's John Maisey's
well-written Discovering Fossil Fishes (Holt, 1996)-- a large,
impeccable hardcover publication with a misleadingly popular title-- is
relevant to part 2 of your question.
George J. Leonard, Ph.D.
Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities
San Francisco State University.