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RE: Mesozoic rainforests?

-----Original Message-----
From: Jerry D. Harris [mailto:dinogami@hotmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, June 17, 2000 10:02 AM
To: tlford@ix.netcom.com
Subject: Re: Mesozoic rainforests?

>The other night I was watching National Geographic video on the tropical
>rainforest. They said that some trees have this extension on the leaves;
>drip tips that help drain the leaves of water. If the water was on the
>leaves for a long time it would be departmental for the leaves and trees.
>These forests have from 100 to 400 inches of rain a year.
>I don't know about paleobontany, but are there any Mesozoic leaves with
>these drip tips?

   >>Yes, lots; this one of the many morphological aspects of fossil leaves
that has been used to infer paleoclimate for a specific deposit and region.
However, some of the work on this morphology has been called into question,
and newer studies are delving more into the relationships of leaf morphology
and climate.  No refs handy at the moment, though -- they're all packed!<<

Kool!!! Just goes to show you, that you need to look at the whole
environment and not just the bones.
>>It would make sence if there were rainforests in the Mesozoic, after all
there WERE trees back then, and heat, and more rain in some places then
others.  However, I don't think we'd find any evidence of them (unless
leaves and bits from a rainforest got washed into a river and fossilized
that way), because there isn't much opportunity for fossilization on the
ground of a rain forest.  <<
That was one of the comments that I made to my girlfriend as we watched it.
The animal would be decomposed long before it got buried, unless it ended up
in a nearby stream or river where it could get buried.
 >>John Horner said something about that; the
dinosaurs that we find are all going to be lowlands dinosaurs because
there's very little opportunity for fossilization anywhere else.
Besides, I don't think that there is any way you could distinguish any
single organism as coming from a rainforest.  There are plenty of
rainforest plants that DON'T have drip tips.<<

True, but, if they did have drip tips then this would be an good indicator
FOR rainforest.