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Re: Ancient mountains

Tom wrote:

>> 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 
journal just 
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
>>  hypothesis?
>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  
adaptations to 
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.
Best regards,
Félix Landry