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Re: Paralititan (mangrove swamps)
I agree that one likely scenario is that Paralititan and its predator
may have been primarily a part of the mangrove ecosystem.
But on the other hand, perhaps they were primarily a part of an
ecosystem further inland (lacking anoxic mud that would have preserved
them). Perhaps Paralititans occasionally wandered into mangrove swamps (or
forced by population pressures?) and sometimes got stuck there and died (and
less sticky version of La Brea tar pits??).
Who knows, maybe their predators were even smart enough to learn that
if they chased Paralititan towards the swamps, it was an easier way to make
a kill. In that case, Paralititan may have hated the swamp, but the
predator loved it as a means to an easier meal (whether they actually chased
them into the swamp or not).
Just speculating on other possible scenarios that might also fit the
facts (but you know a lot more of the details than I do). What type of
habitat would one have found inland from these swamps, and would they be far
less favorable for fossil preservation?
From: Josh Smith <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Paralititan (mangrove swamps)
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2001 10:25:45 -0400
Ken Kinman wrote:
> Tracy and Josh,
> Aren't the soils (muds) of mangrove swamps usually anoxic and
> therefore an unusually ideal area for fossil preservation?
> If so, couldn't it be a fluke of preservation. In other words,
> perhaps Paralititan usually lived in other habitats, but only got
> if one happened to wander into such a swamp and died there.
> I don't have any firm conviction either one way or the other
> (non-theropods don't interest me much). Just playing devil's advocate
> the sake of discussion.
If it is a fluke of preservation, then it was a reoccurring fluke,
by far most of the fossils we have produced from Bahariya so far are coming
from the same sorts of environments. The Bahariya Formation
proximal to Stromer's "saurier" beds appears to record the existence of a
"mangrove coastline" in the Cenomanian, and this is by far one of the most
productive "units" in the Bahariya sequences.
Bahariya records a very low energy regime. There doesn't appear to be
enough energy in the system to move around gravel the size of _Paralititan_
our coastal geologist Ken Lacovara loves to term in, but to Lamanna's
Moreover, Ken is convinced that the water depths in the "Bahariya
would have been too shallow for the beast to actually float around. This,
combined with the evidence at the quarry that CGM 81119 was scavenged
that not only this individual, but whatever was munching on it (most likely
carcharodontosaurid according to my analyses) walked into the mangrove
their own power. Did they live there, or were they just walking through?
the hell knows for sure? However, it is most parsimonious to presume, give
frequency that we find large vertebrate bones in these sequences, that we
the record of a fauna that at least didn't hate mangroves, so I would say
very well might have lived there. It wasn't just _Paralititan_ that was
running around in this environment, but the theropods in the Bahariya as
as far as we can tell.
Department of Earth and Environmental Science
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