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Re: Were dinosaur ecosystems continent-sized? (resend)
There are two schools of thought on this.
If I were asked (and no one seems to want to ask me ;-), I believe the null
hypothesis is that, as is the case today, flora/faunal ecosystems were highly
variable in reasonably large areas. The question is, what is a "reasonably
Many researchers in geology (which is something I am a bit more familiar with),
tend to use generalizations as their null hypothesis, pending new information.
As research advances, the generalizations tend to become less general (first
null hypothesis: All batholiths in the western part of Washington State are of
the same age). Revised null hypothesis: Only some batholiths in W. Washington
are of the same age. Newest hypothesis: nearly all batholiths in W.
Washington are of different geologic ages, within the limits of
I assume that such generalizations in paleontology tend to get "de-generalized"
over time as well.
Just because North America's Ursus horribilis is found in Asia doesn't mean
that the snow leopard must therefore be found in North America.
---------- Original Message ----------
From: GUY LEAHY <email@example.com>
To: Dinosaur Mailing List <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Were dinosaur ecosystems continent-sized? (resend)
Date: Thu, 22 Apr 2010 18:54:21 -0700
Resent, this time in plain text... :-)
According to this analysis, yes:
A couple of problems right off the top:
1. No faunas from Utah, New Mexico or Texas are included in the dataset.
2. The upper Maastrichtian Scollard fauna is not included, but the lower-middle
Maastrichtian Horseshoe Canyon fauna is...
It's an interesting coincidence in time this appears a few days after the
publication of a new pachycephalosaur (_Texacephale_), where the authors
suggest exactly the opposite scenario:
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