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Re: Pine trees and paleoartists
At 08:25 2007-07-06, Brandon Pilcher wrote:
Why is it that paleoartists almost always decorate their Mesozoic
landscapes with pine trees? I have always found this cliche
irritating and aesthetically unattractive. If I recall correctly,
the Mesozoic Era had a warm, almost tropical climate (although the
polar regions appear to have experienced more temperate conditions),
and yet from looking at paleoartists' depictions, you would think it
was like Alaska or Sweden with all those pine forests. Are there
tropical species of pine trees that I don't know about, because in
my opinion, pine trees look seriously out of place in a landscape
that's supposed to be hot and muggy.
Certainly there are tropical pines. There is a lot of pine woodland
in the Everglades, which should be hot and muggy enough to satisfy
anybody. The same applies to Cuba, Bahamas, Hispaniola and Central America.
Incidentally conifers (especially podocarps) even occur in tropical
lowland rainforests, though they are mostly a fairly minor element nowadays.
However I agree rhat pines aren't ideal models for mesozoic conifers.
Pines are "modern" with their relatively free-form growth habit.
Early conifers had more determinate growth form like e. g. firs or
araucarias. Have a look at this for example:
That is tropical Araucaria forest on New Caledonia which probably has
the most "mesozoic-looking" flora in the World.