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Sauropods, environments & footprints
RE: the recent discussions of sauropods and footprints:
I) It is apparent that sauropods lived in many diverse environments, from
coastal swamps to interior regions with high levels of seasonality. That
shouldn't be a big surprise for a taxon of large terrestrial animal that
existed minimally from the latest Triassic to the latest Cretaceous.
II) While it is true you can preserve footprints in sandy environments
(e.g., the Navajo Sandstone, the Cocconino Sandstone), these can only be
preserved with the addition of a little water soon after impression (and
minimally before wind erodes or buries the impressions).
III) However, there are some environments (paleosols and floodplain deposits
generally) where the nature of preservation makes it unlikely to preserve
ANY footprints, large or small.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796