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Re: Sauropods in wet versus dry environments... a tip of the hatto some past artists (Was Re. Lost Worlds)
I had said in the first post on this subject, "Of course, there may be a
preservational bias in all this..."
Jeff Hecht responded, "It's not really a preservational bias -- it's a
bias in where the tracks could be made in the first place."
Give me a break!!!
If one doesn't think an even slightly grown-up sauropod would leave some
type of readable effect upon almost any type of ground on which it was
walking, one should go back to Tracking 1.1 (speaking only figuratively).
But some situations are just not conducive to preserving effects of that
walking, at least not in a form easily recognizable to humans. So there is
a preservational bias, as well as a perceptional challenge.
The term I used has been employed with precisely the same meaning in
many papers on paleoichnites which I have read, written by persons probably
far more experienced in describing this kind of thing in writing than is
Jeff, or am I. Are they wrong, too?
Personally, I tire of such nit picking (whether aimed at statements of
others, or at my own), and suspect I'm not alone in that feeling. We see
too much of it on this list. Writers should be careful. Even if -- as is
probably the case here -- it is not intended as a personal put-down, others
might read it as evidence of a psychological ploy to boost one's own ego.
"You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles." --
Sherlock Holmes in The Boscombe Valley Mystery
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jeff Hecht" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Ray Stanford" <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 8:53 PM
Subject: Re: Sauropods in wet versus dry environments... a tip of the hatto
some past artists (Was Re. Lost Worlds)
At 5:43 PM -0500 1/16/02, Ray Stanford wrote:
> Let's add in many other wet sauropod track sites, including the famous
>and excellently detailed sauropod trackways near Glen Rose, Texas, which
>in a carbonate (hence marine-derived) substrate, as are others from Texas
>and Arkansas. Add also the ones I have found here in two different
>here in Maryland, which occur in several different types of substrate, but
>all of which indicate wetlands types of paleoenvironment, ranging from
>seemingly deltaic fan type situations, to outright swamps, and maybe flood
> Off the top of my head I can recall no sauropod tracks or trackways
>other than rather wet environs. Of course, there may be a preservational
>bias in all this, but I doubt for several reasons that sauropods would
>survive very long in areas without plenty of water.
Remember, however, that dinosaurs, no matter how big, are not likely
to leave footprints in dry hard-packed soil or dry sand. You are most
likely to leave footprints that have a chance to be preserved when
you walk through mud. It's not really a preservational bias -- it's a
bias in where the tracks could be made in the first place. -- Jeff