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Re: Fern forests

sea turtles manage to hide nests on perfectly featureless beaches.  Sure
the nests get found frequently, but obviously enough survive detection
that until recently, sea turtles were doing just fine.

The logic that being big means easy to spot is no different than a sea
turtle coming ashore on a perfect and featureless sandy beach scenario.  

Even if there's NO place to hide some creatures still manage to do it.


John Bois wrote:
> Many ferns have an edge over other understory plants in that they can
> tolerate shade.  Indeed, many other shrubs provide very good concealment
> below some size.  But if you place some shrubs around the World Trade
> Center it will not disappear. A non-avian dinosaur intent on hiding its
> nest in a fern forest must contend with two synergistic factors: a big
> thing is easier to find, and a forest supports, or is capable of
> supporting, a high density of predators.
> Add to this the likelihood that a forest would be less than ideal if a big
> thing is trying to defend a nest--i.e., it keeps knocking its head against
> trees--then you have some _a priori_ reasons why big animals are unlikely
> to nest in a forest.  They probably _did_ browse/hunt in forests.  But the
> imperative of 2 months of stationary  attendance (assuming they did
> attend nests) wouod not lend itself to a forest habitat.  What you need is
> a grass analogue--something that can withstand alot of browsing, something
> that traps large amounts of moisture instantly, something that does not
> require moisture to fertilize.  I'm not sure such a plant existed in the
> Cretaceous.  If true, this makes it all the more likely that most
> (big) non-avian dinosaurs were analagous to crocs in obligatory nest
> defense.
> On Thu, 15 Jun 2000, Martin Human wrote:
> > I believe large parts of New Zealand have fern-rich forests in which many a
> > secretive dinsaur might hide...
> >
> > cheeers, martin
> >

Flying Goat Graphics
(Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)