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RE: Matching Dinosaurs to Biomes



> From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] 
> On Behalf Of john-schneiderman@cox.net
> 
> Some biomes make for poor fossil collecting.
> What kinds of Dinosaurs would you expect to find in the 
> following biomes?

When? And which continent? Don't forget that the Cretaceous alone is 15 million 
years longer than the whole Cenozoic, so the
dinosaurs that would inhabit a particular biome on one continental region at 
one point in dinosaur history would be entirely
different from the dinosaur inhabiting the same biome at another point in 
dinosaur history.

> Mangrove Swamps

The Bahariya Formation of Egypt is exactly this environment.

> Alpine/high altitude

Who can say? This is a non-depositional environment. Some used to argue that 
pachycephalosaurs were montane dinosaurs, but this
seems to have been mostly by an overenthuasiastic analogy to big horn sheep 
than anything else... (Okay, also helped to argue for
the common presence of domes vs. the rest of the skeleton: the idea being that 
there was a fair distance of transport between where
they lived and where they were finally deposited.)

> Littoral/coastal

Lots of formations are littoral in the broad sense. Furthermore, I can't think 
of too many large-bodied littoral specialists:
instead, the same animals that inhabit the alluvial plains make their way down 
to the coast.

> Open plains

Presupposes the existence of Mesozoic open plains. (Okay, I don't doubt they 
were there in a sense). But vast grasslands may be a
relatively new phenomenon of the dry mid-to-late Cenozoic; wetter 
pre-mid-Cenozoic conditions may have meant far few big open lands
(regardless of the plant taxon forming the ground cover).

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