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Re: Paralititan (mangrove swamps)



Dan and the J.'s (Josh, Jeff & John),
I was wondering the same thing---what tasty food might attract Paralititans to these mangrove areas. By the way, I agree with Josh that these finds are definitely "bloody cool" (they have to be in order to get me interested in any particular non-theropods). I think Paralititan might become my favorite non-theropod.
I'm just trying to think of what kind of evidence one could look for to test two rather different hypotheses: (1) good stuff to eat regularly or permanently attracted the Paralititans (and they had ways to avoid getting trapped by predators in such a habitat);
or (2) perhaps Paralititans didn't like mangroves at all, and just occasionally got trapped there by theropod predators. Not necessarily "stuck", but being in sand and mud might not be a very good place to be when confronting a predator (I like John's reference to the 100-meter "dash").
Jeff's point about megafaunal highways into modern mangroves could provide some support for the second hypothesis. Paralititans wandering into such restricted corridors and predators chasing them into the sand or mud for an easier kill. I think that would be even more "bloody cool" than a Paralititan dies and gets scavenged.
I think one needs to brainstorm for what kind of evidence might support or reject various scenarios, so that these particular kinds of evidence could be sought. There may have been a lot more of these beasts in the inland forests, but their remains there (perhaps their primary habitat) just didn't get fossilized. That is what I mean about it being a possible "fluke of preservation" that such fossils are primarily found in the mangrove areas, but that doesn't mean they spent much time there.
I'm just not convinced Paralititans were actually attracted to mangroves, and may have even avoided them if they sensed it made them more vulnerable to predation. And the theropods may have only gone there if some Paralititan (or other prey) didn't sense the potential danger. My suggestion that theropods may have actually chased Paralititans into such situations (as a hunting "strategy") is perhaps wishful thinking, but who knows. Just don't want to assume that they necessarily lived in the mangrove areas on a regular basis (unless there is convincing evidence that they did).
------Cool stuff, Ken Kinman
*********************************************************
From: Danvarner@aol.com
Reply-To: Danvarner@aol.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Paralititan (mangrove swamps)
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 12:44:26 EDT

In a message dated 6/5/01 9:29:56 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
smithjb@sas.upenn.edu writes:


<< However,
regardless of how much time these beasts spent "inland" versus in the Baharîya
mangroves, I think it is extremely interesting that something was drawing them
there. >>


Still haven't seen the paper, but I have a question. What in the way
of clams and other mollusks are present here? I don't see much in the way of
the tripodal feeding posture going on in this type of environment. What's
available for supper? DV
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