Friday, April 30, 2010

[Geology2] Dinosaur ecosystem the size of a continent

Retracing the tracks of dinosaurs reveals ecosystem the size of a
continent [USA], April 20, 2010

Researchers at McGill University are unlocking the mysteries of the
little-known habits of dinosaurs in discovering that the entire western
interior of North America was likely once populated by a single
community of dinosaurs. According to a statistical analysis of the
fossil record, dinosaurs were adept at coping with all sorts of
environments, and not as restricted in their geographic ranges as
previously thought. The discovery was made by McGill Professor Hans
Larsson and Matthew Vavrek, a PhD student at the University. Using data
from the Paleobiology Database, they found that the difference in
species between regions over North America was relatively low - low
enough to consider it a single homogeneous fauna. The finding is
significant as it confirms that dinosaur ecosystems may have been as
large as continents. The paper is to be published in the April 19 issue
of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


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