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Re: New Shandong Dinosaur Discoveries

The grass avoiding dry water is a reference to some obscure humor in an old DML post (circa 1998) regarding this same subject. Pretty trivial in retrospect but it still applies in contrast to grass preferring wet areas. I usually search the archives these days to avoid duplicating old questions.

I suspect you are correct that the translation is probably the issue and but journalists always get things right of course. ;-)

Regarding phytoliths, interesting and I (et al) look forward to the post. Didn't know that. Always assumed the silica was harder with analogues like scouring rushes (Equisetum hyemale which is course is an evergreen perennial) running through my mind. They avoid dry water too!

Frank (Rooster) Bliss www.wyomingdinosaurs.com Weston, Wyoming

On Dec 29, 2008, at 10:58 AM, David Marjanovic wrote:

(grass avoiding dry water)


Does anyone know the evidence he has for that.

Probably that's just supposed to mean "abundant plant cover of the ground". Xinhua translations are not very good, and then of course it's written by journalists to begin with.

Certainly the little scurrying furry mammals with high[-]crowned
teeth ate some and may have enjoyed some degree of
specialization toward that diet.

Unlikely. Despite everything everyone has been taught, phytoliths are in fact softer than tooth enamel. Hypsodont and hypselodont ( = rootless) teeth are more likely an adaptation to grit in the diet. My source for this is a poster from this year's congress of the student-researchers of the natural history museum in Paris; I'll post the abstract when I'll be back in Paris.

Hopefully the sequence spans the K/T contact.

I think that's too much to hope for :o)

A ceratopsid* in Asia is already cool enough!

* Which reminds me: the temnospondyl workers switched all -opsidae/- opsoidea names to -opidae/-opoidea maybe 10 or 15 years ago, and nobody seems to complain...