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RE: Dinosaur environments

> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of James Farlow
> Farlow:  Well...they sort of did.  Edited anyway.  And about 
> my favorite dinosaur fauna:
> P.J. Currie and E.B. Koppelhus (eds.), 2005.  _Dinosaur 
> Provincial Park: A Spectacular Ancient Ecosystem Revealed_. 
> Indiana University Press.
> In my experience, as a rough generalization, mammal 
> paleontologists are far more interested in interdisciplinary 
> analysess of paleoecology than are the dinosaur folks.   At 
> the risk of calling down the wrath of dinosaurologists on my 
> head, I would say that mammalian paleoecologists are at least 
> a decade ahead of the dinosaur crowd in the sophistication of 
> their understanding of ecology.  At SVP I frequently bail out 
> of the dinosaur talks (I have a low tolerance for cladograms) 
> to listen to the mammal talks. 
> I suspect that the mammal folks are further along because 
> there are still lots of living mammal species (although we 
> are doing our best as a species to change that), so it's 
> easier to make ecological interpretations about extinct 
> forms.  Ditto the plants in Cenozoic vs Mesozoic vegetations. 

And I want to add an additional reinforcement of this: there a whole lot of
integrated paleobotany and palynology work that simply hasn't been done yet
in Mesozoic formations. For some, yes, and they are the ones that we all
know and love: Hell Creek, Dinosaur Park, Morrison, Chinle, Wessex, etc.
Work is progressing in some of the others, but hasn't necessarily been
published. Also, some units that are great for floras are lousy for bones,
and vice versa.

>  I would also hazard the guess that mammalian phylogeny is 
> better understood, so the mammal folks don't get quite as 
> excited about rearranging cladograms to accommodate new 
> discoveries as dinosaur folks do.  I could be wrong about 
> that, though.  

(Actually, dino phylogeny has been a lot more stable than placental
phylogeny, at least until recently).

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
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
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