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Re: Dinosaur environments

You have inadvertently stumbled upon a weakness in pop-paleontology books.  
Until very recently, most books that were written for mass consumption focused 
on "cherry-picked" assemblages of animals, which were usually re-hashes of the 
same cherry-picked animals found in earlier paleo books.  Often, reading these 
older books was akin to watching a movie while wearing a blindfold with 
pinholes to see through, while the movie's scenes are shown in bits and pieces, 
in random order.

The lay reader's interest in ancient ecosystems has increased in recent years.  
One nagging problem is that, to write such a book requires the author to do 
much more background research than would be required if he/she were writing 
books about a randomly selected group of dinosaurs.

Then there are the limitations of the specialists, themselves, who often know 
little about the other plant/animal/fungi/bacteria taxa that are found along 
with the dinosaurs at a particular site.  If the specialists know little about 
the other taxa list for a particular place and time, then it is a sure bet that 
the pop-sci writers have an almost impossible task ahead of them.

Since the late 1970s, there has been an increasing trend toward 
interdisciplinary collaboration between paleontologists of different paleo 
specialties, and even between different sciences (for instance, Mary 
Schweitzer's field crew often does the final phase of their dinosaur 
excavations while wearing surgical gloves, to avoid any DNA contamination). 
Mary routinely works with geneticists.  Cross-disciplinary collaboration has 
facilitated the accumulation of taxa lists - - and paleoenvironmental/taxa 
associations - - for specific rock units.

Paleoecology has been around about as long as has paleontology itself, but the 
general public is only now beginning to read, and understand the importance of, 
ancient life within a greater whole; within a greater perspective.

...but it is still hard to get a dinosaur paleontologist excited about 
fossilized Mesozoic soil micro biota.....


---------- Original Message ----------
From: David Krentz <ddkrentz@charter.net>
To: tholtz@umd.edu
Cc: skeletaldrawing@gmail.com, rmtakata@gmail.com,   "Dino List" 
Subject: Re: Dinosaur environments
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 11:38:49 -0700

Please, for all of you who write popular dinosaur books,  please write one 
about dinosaurs and their environments!  With lots of pictures!  
I know there are some out there, like Dinosaurs of Western Canada (my fav dino 
book), DInosaurs of North America and various books about T.rex and its 
environment, but one book whose format I really liked was by Don Lessem called 
Dinosaur Worlds.  It is a very useful reference and a great model for anyone 
smart enough to make a more updated version!

  It covers various well known formations and gives examples of plants and 
animals that lived there.  It even makes an attempt to explain how the 
ecosystems interact with the creatures.

  It would be most helpful for those of us who need to find locations to shoot 
at ( that have not been done to death) and have the space of a few days to 
choose wisely.  


On Aug 1, 2010, at 5:41 PM, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:

> And, for that matter, in some cases there are NO modern analogs. And, in
> others, the pertinent technical studies have not yet been conducted.
> Scott Hartman wrote:
>> Yes and no...the key is to find modern analogs (particularly ones that are
>> easily accessible), which cannot be found so easily on Google Scholar, I
>> assure you...
> -Scott
> On Sat, Jul 31, 2010 at 11:32 PM, Roberto Takata <rmtakata@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Homework?
>> I could easly find these information using search engines like Google.
>> Google Scholar could be particularly helpful.
>> []s,
>> Roberto Takata
>> On 7/30/10, David Krentz <ddkrentz@charter.net> wrote:
>>>  Can someone please help me with the following?
>>>  The environment and flora of the Tiouraren Formation.
>>>  The environment and flora of the La Amarga
>>>  The environment and flora of the Hanson ( Early J Antarctica.. I think
>> its
>>> named the Hanson...)
>>>  The environment and flora of Elliot Formation ( Upper or Lower)
>>>  Fruit that could be found in the Early Cretaceous.
> -- 
> Scott Hartman
> Scientific Advisor/Technical Illustrator
> (307) 921-9750
> www.skeletaldrawing.com
> -- 
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Email: tholtz@umd.edu Phone: 301-405-4084
> Office: Centreville 1216
> Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
> Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
> Fax: 301-314-9661
> Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
> http://www.geol.umd.edu/sgc
> Fax: 301-314-9843
> Mailing Address:      Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
>                       Department of Geology
>                       Building 237, Room 1117
>                       University of Maryland
>                       College Park, MD 20742 USA

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