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Re: Dinosaur environments

  Scott Sampson's book Dinosaur Odyssey tapped into the current zeitgeist of 
understanding working ecosystems and made it accessible as pop-sci.  He 
explains the paradigm shifts of science rooted in Reductionism to its current 
Great Story movement ( forgive me for making those assumptions, I'm not a 
scientist but what he is saying makes sense as to how I see the world).  It is 
great example of putting dinosaurs in not only in THIER environment, but in OUR 
world.  I reread the chapters on modern day Redwood forests just before I 
headed to the Redwood Coast for a scouting trip.  It certainly made the 
experience much more meaningful and somehow made those trees even BIGGER in 
stature.  It was OK if our dinosaurs looked small next to them!  On an artistic 
level it's the same thing Doug Henderson has done for years.

  On the interdisciplinary level, I couldn't agree more.  I first went to SVP 
in 1999 and again in 2008.  The content of the material being presented was 
vastly different in those few years.

  On another note, maybe Phil Currie and Eva need to write a book together!


On Aug 3, 2010, at 5:38 PM, Phillip Bigelow wrote:

> David,
> 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.....
> <pb>
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: David Krentz <ddkrentz@charter.net>
> To: tholtz@umd.edu
> Cc: skeletaldrawing@gmail.com, rmtakata@gmail.com,   "Dino List" 
> <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> 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.  
> D
> 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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