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Maiasaura Chow & Trace Fossils



Karen Chin has reported the presence of conifer twig material and probable
dung beetle burrows in probable _Maiasaura_ coprolites.  (I'm not expressing
any doubt whatsoever about the diagnosis; I'm just trying to keep it honest
here).  This is exciting, because it represents evidence for a Mesozoic food
web.  (On another note, clusters of snail shells have accompanied such
coprolites, but the shells are so poorly preserved that it is unclear whether
these gastropods were consumed by the hadrosaur, or were themselves coprophagi
-- look that one up in your _Funk and Wagnall's_)!

Question #1: what conifers might have been consumed by _Maiasaura_?

Question #2: can anyone provide references or photographs of other examples of
trace fossils which constitute hard evidence for interactions between small
life forms and (non-avian) dinosaurs?

This is more than idle curiosity on my part.  I am preparing to give
"Diversity of Life" tours at the California Academy of Sciences and would like
to include Mesozoic life forms as well as contemporary organisms in
discussions of our understanding of the interactions observed in biological
communities.  There has been plenty of speculation along these lines, but I am
most interested in scenarios supported by evidence.

-- Ralph W. Miller III       gbabcock@best.com

"Round up the usual suspects."