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RE: Diplodocus: Return to the Swamps????
Unfortunately for many dinosaurs, preservation of tracks favors areas where
tracks could more easily be preserved: Mud, wet sand, etc. When a formation is
comprised mostly of an estuarine or floodplain depositional setting (as the
Morrison is) you will get track systems dominantly favoring such a setting,
logically. Thus, dominantly-favored riparian, near-shore, estuarine, or mudflat
environments is an artefact, but it is also pretty damning when there is such a
prepaonderance of herd-size systems of tracks where juveniles are found to also
be trackmakers, implying that groups would travel close to the water's edge
(alongside it, rather than to it?) and that they must, consequently, have the
ability to travel ON riparian, near-shore, estuarine or mudflat-style surfaces.
Of the various papers I've looked at examining long trackways in the Morrison,
there don't seem to be many slippage traces, and in fact theropods (with
smaller-surface feet than their apparent respective sauropods) show fine-tuning
of movement while at speed.
When commenters descend toward making statements about how sauropods were not
neck-deep in the muck, they miss the point: Sauropods are known (through
tracks) to walk on sand and mud -- therefore they could walk on sand and mud.
That is all.
Jaime A. Headden
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