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Re: What the fossil record tells us about trends in pterosaur diversity
Mike Habib wrote:
The problem here is that it will appear that way whenever you have
a few good sites providing most of the material. In other words,
because the German and Chinese Lagerstatte provide most of our high-
resolution information, they will appear to have preserved the
transition intervals, essentially by definition.
Yes and perhaps not, IMHO. The transition from dinos to birds
happened in China. The transition from longtailed to shorttailed
pterosaurs happened in Solnhofen -- unless the transitions were
happening worldwide and only preserved at these two locations. Seems
doubtful considering present day analogs. Still the timing is right.
Not sure about the Chinese geography, but as I recall, the Solnhofen
geography was made up of isolated islands with lots of beach front
property. Sort of like the Galapagos, only on a larger scale? Prime
real estate for changes to occur.
I see your point about observational bias. Pteros and birds are
favorites. Mammoths and placoderms are not.
So, do certain niches with variable landscape and weather seem to
accelerate change? And do such landscapes create Lagerstatte?