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RE: Were dinosaur ecosystems continent-sized? (resend)
> > My problem with the question ("Were dinosaur ecosystems continent-sized")
> > is the following:
> One clade does not an "ecosystem" make.
> An ecosystem is just that: a system, which includes everything within it.
<<<True. But, and this is how I read it, the original question focused on
ecosystems which harbored dinosaurs.>>>
I'll wager that nearly all Mesozoic ecosystems harbored dinosaurs (or if they
didn't harbor them (such as isolated islands), then the term "dinosaur
ecosystem" wouldn't apply to such places, anyway).
So, I still don't get the point.
A large intra-continental dinosaurian assemblage, say an assemblage of 20-30
taxa found across a continent, says little about the ecosystem(s) in which they
lived. It *could* say something about that ecosystem(s) if large numbers of
other taxa (everything down to the few remnants of soil bacteria and spores)
were included in the analysis as well. Even something as esoteric as finding
evidence for the pH of the paleosol would contribute to a better understanding
of the dinosaurs' paleoecosystem.
Knowing everything there is to know about baseball great, Alex Rodriguez, tells
us absolutely nothing about the baseball team he is on. And even if we knew
everything there was to know about his teammates as well, it *still* tells us
nothing about how they play as a team.
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