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Re: Ancient mountains
>> 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
>> 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.
Yep. Fragmentation of fields of knowledge is one of the great problems of
our time, although the sheer progress of science makes it almost unavoidable.
my field (social sciences) there still can be quite compelling "total"
thought, as in Max Weber's, or, more recently, Fernand Braudel's works. Maybe
easier than in "hard" sciences. Do fields like paleoecology and
paleogeography exist as independant academic domains? I know there is a
about this (Palaeogeography, Palaeoecology, Palaeobiology or something like
that), but it looks like an exception indeed.
>> 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.
I don't know of any recent equivalent publication (book, or say, something
like Sereno's review of dino evolution in the Review of Earth and Planetary
Sciences). Are there any?
>> And, by the way, weren't
>> pachycephalosaurs thought to have lived in mountains? Was there any
solid evidence for >>this
>There were two sorts of justifications for it: one reasonable, one not so
>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
Yeah, that's what I was thinking about. Do you have the ref? Are there any
pdfs of that running around on the web?
>The less reasonable was that they were the dinosaur equivalent to bighorn
sheep, which live >in the mountains, and thus the
>pachycephalosaurs did, too...
Unreasonable if the "equivalence" comes only from the head-butting
hypothesis. But I suppose bighorn sheep must have some anatomical limb
cope with steep slopes and rocky environments. This might also be
identifiable in a fossil, right?
>However, there are good skeletons for pachycephalosaurs from deserts and
from lowlands > (the Hell Creek), so at least some species
>were not mountain dwellers.