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Re: Mountain dinosaurs

As Philip has noted, the scarcity of certain taxa might indicate an upland 
habitat preference. Indeed, the rarity of Pachycephalosaurus and Leptoceratops 
in the lowland coastal environments has been used by Sternberg, among others, 
to support that. Horner had at one time argued that the rarity of dinosaur 
eggshell in the lowland coastal sediments of the Hell Creek and Lance indicated 
that dinosaurs migrated into the uplands to lay their eggs. However, as I 
demonstrated experimentally, negative evidence is a poor reasoning since 
eggshell is easily dissolved in a slightly acidic environment. The point is 
that negative evidence for certain dinosaur taxa must be used with great 
caution as support that they primarily lived in the mountains.


>>> Phil Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> 03/03/04 01:32 AM >>>
For some reason, ankylosaurs are often found in marine deposits.  Perhaps
its because they remained bloated longer than other similar size
dinosaurs, and they had more time to float down the river and out to sea
compared to, say, a Triceratops corpse.  Maybe the ankylosaur's skin
armor delayed the inevitable bursting of the body cavity.

It is also possible that, given optimum fluvial conditions (and optimum
bodily fermentation conditions), mountain dinosaurs WOULD get washed down
into the upper and lower coastal plain paleoenvirnments.  Rarity of a
certain fossil species may be a clue that the animal didn't live in the
area where it was deposited, but how would we know for sure?


On Wed, 3 Mar 2004 13:16:52 +1100 zone65@bigpond.com writes:
> On Wednesday, March 3, 2004, at 01:11  PM, Ken Carpenter wrote:
> >     There is no doubted that there were mountain-dwelling 
> dinosaurs 
> > since life invades any suitable place. Yet, for the most prt, we 
> will 
> > never know who these dinosaurs are because mountains are areas of 
> > erosion, not deposition. The right place at the right time holds 
> true 
> > over geologic time, although not necessarily for shorter 
> intervals. 
> > For example, mammoth bones have been found in the high mountains 
> > regions of Colorado. But since these mountains are eroding, in a 
> few 
> > million years all trace of these mammoths are likely to 
> disappear.
> > Ken
> This is the greatest bummer of them all, of course...
> Could the dinosaurs we know also have been mountain dwellers, or is 
> that just something else we'll never be able to conclude?
> Peter M

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