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RE: Chinese fossil finds

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Steve Kary
> Is it just me or do the Chinese/Mongolian fossil deposits seem to come up
> with fossils of stunning quality that answer very specific questions (ie.
> Dinosaur sleeping position) more or less a few years after the question is
> asked?

Ummm... that wasn't exactly a burning question in paleontology. On the other 
hand, questions about the distribution of integument of
coelurosaurs DOES match your idea here.

> Also, they seem to be getting a chunk of every great fossil find, be
> it dinosaurs, Chengjiang or otherwise. Why is this?

In part because of the increase in the number of researchers due to the 
reopening of professional academic contacts with the West.
Remember that before Sereno's work in China and the new AMNH Mongolian 
expeditions, there was far less contact between the
Chinese/Mongolian paleontological community and that of North America & Europe. 
Collaboration fostered an increase in both numbers
of workers and amount of money available for work.

Also consider that China is VAST and is geologically very complex. 
Consequently, there is opportunity for a lot of different types
and ages of deposits.

As an analogy, consider a European paleontologist of the 1870s and 1880s 
wondering about all those phenomenal fossil beds of the
American West...

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
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