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Re: Age of the Barun Goyot, Djadoktha and Nemegt Formations

Tim Donovan (uwrk2@yahoo.com) wrote:

<Not in Mongolia.>

  Wow, a taphonomic effect based on ... what? What research indicates that
after extensive searching for pollen fossils, they could not find any? And what
effects will lead to an eradication of pollen? I hardly doubt Mongolia was sans
plants capable of producing pollen, so it MUST be there or had been there, even
if subsequently removed or destroyed. Pollen can even be present in regions it
wasn't produced, and as I noted (ignored again by Donovan) can still be present
long after the plants producing it cease to be widespread.

<And Mesolanistes, conchostracans etc.>

  See, selective taxonomic categorization and ignoring other dating methods
(such as magnetostratigraphy and radiometrics of clastics!) doesn't help. I can
easily name any ostracod a different taxon just to say that taxon a is NOT
present in this formation, thus allowing me to say it's a different age! This
doesn't seem ODD to Donovan? Or do scapegoats to affirm stratigraphy just make
things easier?

<Again, Norman considered S. angustirostris and S. osborni to be virtually

  This is ignoring the question and almost my entire last post on this subject.
Holtz and Keesey have also talked about this, apparently to deaf ears. Just
because _A_ researcher considers them identical doesn't mean 1) they are or 2)
that their ages were the same. As I explained before, named avian genera and
even modern species can exists for 20+ million years, based on minimal
morphological change. I am sure if some of these species had a wider variety of
beaks and such, we'd be naming them separate species, given the use of such
variation today as being selective to food sources and mating choices and thus
indicative of speciation events. 

  But maybe I can counter Donovan's statement above by saying that someone else
thinks that the two *Saurolophus* species are different genera? Researcher vs.
researcher, who will win!? (While I'd bank on Norman for his credentials, I and
others will note he tends to be a lumper and has dismissed variation in
geographic areas due to individual variation, without any affirmation of this
variation being real, and is able to lump species for the sake of this, which
doesn't really seem to work when applied to modern species such as the various
Galapagos finches.)

<Apples and oranges. Turnover among large dinosaurs was faster. Saurolophus is
unknown from the Campanian or late Maastrichtian.>

  I think apples and oranges are very similar, and NASA researcher S. A.
Sandford agrees with me:

  As for *Saurolophus*, this still doesn't mean both species across the Pacific
were the exact same age since they are likely to have a common descent which
is, logically, OLDER than either. So if we were to find this ur-*Saurolophus*,
would we call it *Saurolophus* even? And would we, using the Donovan
Generometer Device (TM) or DGD, find that they existed at the same time because
they are the same "genus" (whatever the frell THAT is). BTW, many other
researchers tend to use both *angustirostris* and *osborni* in parallel, not as
a single lumped taxon, so that's Norman 0, everone-else 1.

  BTW, when I was talking about armchair geologists, I was talking about
DONOVAN. I make no claims to my credentials about expertise in geology, though
Tom Holtz on this list IS a credentialed PhD in Geology, unlike Donovan.
Donovan, rather than cite his sources, has presented statements that would make
sense only in knowing truth or commiting primary research. This makes me think
that he has access to these study regions, but neither affirms nor denies this,
and when forced to cite them, invariably states it comes from this or that
paper, a lot of them seemingly from Shukhov. If Donovan then is simply citing
research from others, and in such language as to sound like FACT, then I have
no choice but to think that he has personal first-hand knowledge of this data
OR that he simply chooses not to be scientific and cite his sources because of
some belief. So I apply the label armchair geologist in taking the latter tact.

  The last thing we need to be doing is taking peoples' words for it, when it
comes to these topics. Use your noggins, that's what they're there for.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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