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First dinosaur traces found in South Pacific
SYDNEY (AFP) - An Australian-based researcher said that he had found the
first proof that land-dwelling dinosaurs lived on remote islands in the
Jeffrey Stilwell, a US-born fellow in palaeontology at Melbourne's Monash
University, said he discovered the fossilized foot, finger and spinal bones
of carnivorous dinosaurs on the Chatham Islands, about 850 kilometers (530
miles) east of New Zealand.
The discovery confirmed that the Chathams were once connected to New Zealand
by a finger-like extension, Stilwell told AFP.
The article is:
Jeffrey D. Stilwell, Christopher P. Consoli, Rupert Sutherland, Steven
Salisbury, Thomas H. Rich, Patricia A. Vickers-Rich, Philip J. Currie and
Graeme J. Wilson (2006). Dinosaur sanctuary on the Chatham Islands,
Southwest Pacific: First record of theropods from the K?T boundary Takatika
Grit. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 230: 243-250.
Abstract: "Cretaceous?Tertiary (K?T) boundary (ca. 65 Ma) sections on a
Southwest Pacific island containing dinosaurs were unknown until March 2003
when theropod bones were recovered from the Takatika Grit on the remote
Chatham Islands (latitude 44° S, longitude 176° W), along the Chatham Rise.
Tectonic and palaeontologic evidence support the eastward extension of a ca.
900 km land bridge that connected the islands to what is now New Zealand
prior to the K?T boundary. The Chathams terrestrial fauna inhabited coastal,
temperate environments along a low-lying, narrow, crustal extension of the
New Zealand subcontinent, characterised by a tectonically dynamic, volcanic
landscape with eroding hills (horsts) adjacent to flood plains and deltas,
all sediments accumulating in grabens. This finger-like tract was blanketed
with a conifer and clubmoss (Lycopodiopsida) dominated forest. The Chatham
Islands region would have, along with New Zealand, provided a dinosaur
island sanctuary after separating from the Gondwana margin ca. 80 Ma."
And while on the subject of New Zealand dinos... what ever happened to that
blog about an alleged primitive fossil bird from New Zealand
("pteredon-like" or something)? Does it hold any water, or was it just a
wild goose (archaeopteryx?) chase?