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Re: http://www.dinosaurextinction.com



George,
    Thanks. One slight correction. I think I said that 2/3 of NJ is Cenozoic.
Its
closer to 45-50%. That is the problem with typing from memory without
referring
to books. The Gallagher book is a good source of general information. The map
on
page 73 shows the Cretaceous deposits and will give you an idea of the
shoreline at the K-T boundary.

    I am glad you're trying to write the whole scene with a novelist's eye
for detail.
I like the bugs for a sense of reality. If one travels in shoreline areas,
especially
regions like the north, where the growing season is short, one  becomes
acutely
aware of bugs. Note that the bugs imply a whole bug-related ecology - small
animals eating bugs, bugs feeding from large and small animals, and even
"cleaners" - symbionts like tick birds in Africa that earn their living by
taking
bugs off big animals. I like the images of Deinonychus flicking its feathers
to ward off biting midges and sitting very still so that Enanthiornes can get
those
ticks in that space behind its head and around its backside that it can't
reach.
(But I can't be certain that tickes existed in the Cretaceous. I'll need to
look it up.)
Dinosaurs also may have migrated from shore to upland when the seasons
changed and had their babies in the uplands.

   Note that the shore had mud as well as sand and gravel. The size of
the stone in river deposits is related to the speed of the river. Gravel
means that the river was fast when the stone was dropped. Sand
means it was slower. Mud means very slow. River velocity
changes with river width. Clay is often deposited in an estuary where the
water becomes salty, since the ions in the water cause the clay to come
out of suspension. (The hydrologists will tear me up for this
simplification.)
River velocities and river sizes change locally and with seasons. Because
of the large amount of NJ that was deposited during and after the Cretaceous
I think the Delaware was bigger then than now, but specialists will be
able to say more.

    So much of the Cretaceous world was seashore that to get smell and feel
right,
it might be good to take a trip down a wild river that actually has its
wetlands
intact, going through swamp to the beach. I don't know where that is still
possible.
Perhaps Georgia? or in the Everglades?

    I should note that the lignite beds of Alberta are full of amber, so it
is likely
that they will find lots of insects there too, once someone gets around to
it.
Right now they use the amber at dinosaur sites for palynological studies, but

I don't think they work the lignite deliberately for bugs.
If I were a professional paleontologist I would run right up to Drumheller
and
work the amber deposits.

    One note of caution: oxygen content may have been higher, since there was

a lot of carbon deposited as coal, but the work on bubbles in amber that
seemed
to show a very large oxygen content is now suspect. Over the very long time
involved, amber is not impermeable to gas exchange and has lots of
microcracks.

Best of luck,
Gus Derkits

George Leonard wrote:

> > For instance, I know that the Oxygen content in the air
> is considerably higher than now. How do I stage that? (The birds take off
> more easily?)
>
>
> Best to all the maiasaurs on their special day,
> George