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Re: DINOSAURS ATE GRASS?
On Thu, 17 Nov 2005 16:50:52 -0800 (PST) Vlad Petnicki
> OTOH, the task of finding suitable exterior locations
> for my dinosaur diorama shots just got a LOT EASIER!
Well, you'll still have to do your homework.
It will depend on which continent your scene is depicted. Grass was not
a major flora (if at all) in North American Campanian and Maastrictian
ecosystems. If it had been a common component, we would have already
found fossil impressions of these plants. (or perhaps already described
taxa have been misidentified?).
So for Daspletosaurus and T. rex landscapes, ubiquitous grassy scenes are
probably not appropriate. But Carnotaurus and Giganotosaurus landscapes,
Furthermore, the *form* of the Cretaceous grass may be much different
than are today's grassland grasses. As other list members have already
speculated, perhaps a clumpy Pampas Grass-like form was the dominant (or
only) morphology at the time.
So, as an artist, you are left with a conundrum: To depict a couple
clumpy masses of grasses in a dominant mixed fern-brush cover, or to
depict a solid mat of grassy cover. Currently, that's a tough call.
I haven't yet read the paper. Are these newly discovered grasses thought
to be aquatic/marine or terrestrial? And what is the current thinking on
the proposed ancestor for grasses?