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RE: No Mesozoic rainforests?



> What I would like to know is, if there was
> rainforest in Colorado during the earliest
> Paleocene, could the rainforest belt have extended
> somewhere near that latitude in Mesozoic times? The
> climate couldn't have changed too much in 1.4
> million years, and in fact I've read that the
> Paleocene was slightly COOLER than the Maastrichian.

Colorado seems far too much north to explain a
tropical rainforest there by atmospheric circulation.
In a hotter climate than today, the *latitude* would
be right in the desert belt (think Sonoran Desert). So
the question is less the "tropical" (it would be Outer
Tropics* alright), but the "rain". Thus, if there was
rainforest, it would rather seem to have been a quite
unusual biome, brought about by peculiar local
conditions, not something that one would expect to
occur to a wider extent.

Has the fossil record from the area produced
indications of endemism in land animals (excluding
birds and pterosaurs)? (Arthropods would probably be
most interesting, as they can leave a pretty
comprehensive record and adapt & evolve rapidly.)


Regards,

Eike

* Technically the latitudes between the ITC and the
Tropics of Cancer/Capricorn. In practice, today
between about 15 and 30° latitude N/S; Outer Tropics
*conditions* can shift polewards if the global climate
is sufficiently warm.


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