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I had no trouble getting on to your web site and using it.
I bookmarked it and I'll look in on it from time to time. Rather
than respond to the questions on the web site, I thought I would
respond to them on the list so that our friends can pick the answers to
I am a physicist, not a paleontologist, so my background is spotty.
I live now in New Jersey, site of the oldest discovered (1858)
articulated dinosaur skeleton Hadrosaurus Foulkii, the state's
New Jersey is also famous for its fabulous Cretaceous Amber,
which is an excellent sources of insect fossils, including ants,
wasps, beetles, midges (bloodsuckers), and moths.
Life in Cretaceous lowlands (like NJ) must have been a living hell
of insects. This is seldom mentioned in works on
paleontology. I think because they are prejudiced by
the glamorous large caliber western finds, where insects
are not as well-known. When I was growing up in eastern
Pennsylvnia, we used to call especially vicious mosquitoes "Jersey
mosquitoes". My mental image is that the same thing
applied in the Cretaceous.
New Jersey was about 1/3 its present size in the Cretaceous.
The lower 2/3 is all Cenozoic sand and gravel.
So NJ was bounded then, as it is today, by the Delaware
River and the Atlantic Ocean. It had swamps and beaches,
as it does now.
A large geographical feature that has existed continuously
since before the cretaceous is the Delaware River.
I haven't been able to find out how old the river is, but the
Delaware water gap cuts through hills that were once mountains
of the Acadian orogeny. The river cut the stone faster than
the mountains rose, so it kept to its course.
The Cretaceous plant life in NJ included flowering plants.
The Hadrosaurs were preyed upon by a medium-sized
theropod, Dryptosaurus, and probably by packs of
smaller dromaeosaurs. Carnivore skeletons are rare here.
The family relationships of Dryptosaurus are not well-known,
in part because of the poor quality of most of the remains.
There were no Tyrranosaurids. They came from China in the late
part of the Cretaceous and couldn't get across the sea that
went down the center of the USA. I would put feathers on the
smaller raptors and on the chicks of the larger ones.
A very useful web site for state-specific information about
The NJ page is:
It contains links to good sites which include the
A good book about the Eastern U.S.A. during the
cretaceous and before, which contains the type
of information you're looking for is:
W. Gallagher, "When Dinosaurs Roamed New Jersey"
Hope this helps.
Best of luck with your book.
George Leonard wrote:
> Dear dino friends,
> May I ask our list's advice on my new website before I go fully
> public? it's at
> I am trying to create, from the widely scattered data, a novel,
> EXTINCTION, set in the world of the KT Boundary.
> EXTINCTION will be fiction but not fantasy-- a novel whose
> scientific dimension is, hopefully, even more accurate than RAPTOR RED.
> I've done this successfully before. I've been publishing novels and
> producing entertainment for thirty years. (This novel's now at fourth
> draft, after two years.)
> My credits date back to the conception and choreography of the
> comedy rock and roll act Sha Na Na in 1969, which played the Woodstock
> Festival, the Woodstock movie, and Fillmores East and West. Currently
> director Ron Howard at Imagine Entertainment/Universal Pictures is trying
> to adapt my Simon and Schuster novel THE ICE CATHEDRAL to the screen. At
> the site, click on PUBLICATIONS for the sample first chapter of BEYOND
> CONTROL (one of the first novels about molecular genetics-- 1975!).
> I WANT TO TRY FOR ACCURACY.
> "Accuracy" however, in paleontology, means ACKNOWLEDGING, NOT
> AVOIDING the full SCIENTIFIC DEBATE on every scene. I've decided to add a
> long ENDNOTE SECTION: I think readers will actually enjoy seeing ENDNOTES
> substantiating the scenes, where I quote and thank people whose
> SCIENTIFIC ADVICE I used.
> Or they can skip it, satisfied (one hopes) with the fiction.
> People like us will enjoy it, for the same reason we enjoy this list, or
> Mike's DINOSAURICON. Imagine a single sentence about a sauropod
> extending its neck into a tree leading to a five page endnote which
> teaches the reader about everything from blood pressure to elephants'
> (However, I can only accept SCIENTIFIC ADVICE NOT PLOT ADVICE.
> Please don't send any! First, it's cheating, second, what if you suggest
> something I've already put in there? When it comes out you'll think I
> stole it from you.)
> Even if you have no scientific advice right now, if you spot any
> typos or awkward/confusing phrases, I'd be very grateful if you used the
> response mechanism there to alert me! Or just send me the word "test" to
> see if I get it. Did the thing take too long to download? My webdesigner,
> Stefan Klocek, is still on call and I can alert him.
> Please be honest. I'd rather hear about the problems from our group,
> whom I trust, before I start posting the site everywhere.
> With thanks for your time,
> George J. Leonard, Ph.D.
> Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities
> San Francisco State University
> 530 Humanities Hall
> 1600 Holloway Avenue
> San Francisco, California, 94132
> Ph: (415) 338-7428
> FAX: (650) 366-5045
> Website: http://www.dinosaurextinction.com