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RE: The Cretacious Middle-East



In addition to what Dan et al. said, we should also remember the recent
research
presented by an Italian team regarding footprints found in southern Italy.

According to the leader of this team (I can't remember the name), 18 inch
Iguanadon prints were found in the spur of Italy. Similar prints were noted
in
northern Africa, leading the team to conclude that parts of southern Italy
and
northern Africa were joined during much of the Cretaceous.

Perhaps you could also include some dwarfed Iguanadontids in your manuscript.

Steve

P.S. For more information on the tracks, go to
http://www.geocities.com/stegob/italianfootprints.html

 Yes, well, I do need an herbivore to terrorize the poor qat farmers (I need
conflict betwixt human and dinosaur populations, because that's the whole
point of this story.), but I'm more partial to a large protoceratopsian or an
ankylosaur of some sort (bullets just bounce off when the farmers try to get
them out of their crops with their AKs.)  Iquanodons seem to get all the
press.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.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
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...

 Done and done!  And I mean done.... 

Truth be told, I wasn't going to evolve them, because I thought I wouldn't be
qualified to speculate like that.  And since I haven't decided upon the
vehicle of their survival (perhaps a warp in time and space, you know, the
every-other-week plot device of Star Trek, hah-hah.), because to make my point
it's not important, I figured the big mystery is just as much why they're not
evolved as much as it is how they got there.  But since you folks are giving
me the go-ahead to actually create my own dinosaurs (within reason, of course)
I think I shall.  Science fiction is my genre of choice anyway.  Which means,
yes indeed, they have survived for 65 million years after the rest of their
kin.  Now.  How did they do that?  It would have to be some sort of ecological
balancing act for these animals not to have spread out but to have just
survived in this eco-pocket (which is large, and arid enough that I won't have
to make them all pygmies.  I was always under the impression that heavily
forested regions contribute to the pygmism of animals, anyway, not just small
environments.).  The problem, and the conflict, is that some how their
population is spreading all of the sudden, and they are coming in contact with
mankind.  Of course, mankind's population is always spreading, so it could
just be by virtue of that fact that the Yemeni run into the dinosaurs. 
However it goes, I know that I have a specific scene in my head that started
this whole idea that I will make sure I will orchestrate:  A whole lot of tiny
coelurosaurs underfoot (like pigeons) at an outdoor market, being treated with
indifference by the shoppers, being kicked, called annoying birds, and in
general being treated with ignorance of an uneducated populace. 



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