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RE: The Cretaceous Middle-East

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> dbensen
> >>Ah, a good dollop of speculation is just what I need to get my
> day going!<<
> I don't know of any late Cretaceous dinosaurs from the Middle
> East (although there
> were some nice whales found there), but dinosaurs from Asia may
> certainly have
> been present.  Africa is going to present a problem because I
> don't think Africa
> and Asia ever connected in the the Cretaceous.  Land bridges are
> possible, but I
> wouldn't bet on it.
Until well into the Cenozoic, the Arabian Peninsula was fully attached to
Africa.  The rifting in that region, including the counterclockwise rotation
of the Arabian Peninsula, is a very recent phenomenon.  So Arabian dinosaurs
would be African dinos.

Also, as Dan pointed out: evolution happens.  An unaltered living
Velociraptor or Afroventor in modern Yemen is as likely as an unaltered
living Stegosaurus in Denver or Laramie.  Change 'em: don't just use the
same old known critters.

The REALLY unrealistic part is the department wasting its resources sending
an undergraduate to check it out: make it at LEAST a graduate student...

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796