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RE: Ancient mountains

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> FlxLandry@aol.com
> Thank you very much! I didn't know that so much  work had been done on the
> subject. Most paleo books I have seen don't go very  far into ancient 
> geography,
> which I think is quite a pity.

Indeed. Part of the problem, of course, is that paleontology is at the nexus of 
the earth and life sciences, and it is difficult (if
not impossible!) to be extremely conversent in both fields.

> Czerkas's Dinosaurs:A  Global View was quite
> good at describing ancient environments however, if I  recall correctly (I
> don't have any of my paleo stuff at hand right now). Is it  still considered 
> to be
> reasonably accurate on that topic?

Well, it was good for its time. There have been a great many discoveries since, 
both geological and paleontological. I haven't read
it in years, so I can't give you the details.

> And, by the way,  weren't
> pachycephalosaurs thought to have lived in mountains? Was there any  solid 
> evidence for this
> hypothesis?
There were two sorts of justifications for it: one reasonable, one not so much.

The reasonable one: it was mostly the domes that were discovered, so some 
paleontologists inferred that they lived far from the
place they were buried, and it was only the domes that survived the transport 
from upstream. Not the most convincing of arguments
(they may simply have been rare, and thus less common as fossils), but not 

The less reasonable was that they were the dinosaur equivalent to bighorn 
sheep, which live in the mountains, and thus the
pachycephalosaurs did, too...

However, there are good skeletons for pachycephalosaurs from deserts and from 
lowlands (the Hell Creek), so at least some species
were not mountain dwellers.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796