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RE: end-of-cretaceous climate

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of hammeris1@bellsouth.net
> From my (admittedly amateur) reading, it would seem that 
> South America had the healthiest climate right before the 
> 'end' in terms of volcanism and dino population.

Dino population? We have no idea. At present we don't have latest
Maastrichtian South American dinosaurs identified. 

Volcanism? The Andes are going through eruptions then, but they have been a
long-lived constant background igneous arc in the late Mesozoic and
Cenozoic, not like the burst of the Deccan Traps or the Cordilleran system
in North America, with its shifting orogenic styles.

But it is not like Europe was going through lots of volcanism at the time,
nor much of northern & central Asia.

> Is this accurate, or was Africa or some other continent 
> healthier in dino-strength 

Very few parts of the world have good statistical samples of dinosaur
fossils from the last couple of million years of the Cretaceous. Would LOVE
to know what is going on, but without fossils we can't.

> right before the big smackdown 
> from the Kuiper belt?

Why the Kuiper Belt? None of the recent work points towards a cometary
impact, but instead more likely a carbonaceous chondrite.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-405-0796

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA