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Re: Velociraptor profiles



On Fri, 22 Mar 2002 21:46:52  
 David Marjanovic wrote:
>> The Velociraptor may have been
>> buried alive (its position is very lifelike) in the sandstorm
>
>Rainstorm. Under torrential rain, a dune suddenly collapsed -- more suddenly
>than a sandstorm can bury unaware animals, I'd say.
>http://www.dinosauria.com/jdp/fossil/sandslide.html

Yes, yes.  The current evidence seems to support a freak torrential rainstorm, 
not a sandstorm. Michael Novacek discusses this in his new book, Time Traveler. 
 He mentions that _all_ fossil skeletons found in the Gobi are not found in the 
crossbedded sands (which were formed due to sandstorms), but actually in in 
more stable sediments.  Also, most of the famous Gobi specimens (especially 
_Protoceratops_ and _Oviraptor_) seem to be preserved in rock that includes 
tiny pebbles, which suggests that water was involved in the burial and 
fossilization process.  Instead, Novacek and his colleagues believe that, 
perhaps, periodic huge rainstorms caused mudflows, which led to "avalanches" 
off of the sanddunes and into the more lush ravines and gullies where many of 
the dinosaurs lived.  This hypothesis seems to be in better accordance with the 
fossils and the stratigraphic evidence.  

Steve

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