The Lazarus Dinosaurs of James Fassett

21 06 2007

Here and there I had heard rumors of dinosaur fossils found above the K/T boundary, and I even remember one children’s book hypothesizing about dinosaurs that could survive in the cold, “nuclear winter” conditions that would have followed the asteroid impact which devastated life on earth. The thought that most dinosaurs made it into the Paleocene is a romantic notion, especially because dinosaurs were the “ruling reptiles” for so long, but there doesn’t seem to be much of anything to back up the idea. Still, some paleontologists, especially James Fassett, would beg to differ, and he has a new paper out entitled (*deep breath*) “The documentation of in-place dinosaur fossils in the Paleocene Ojo Alamo Sandstone and Animas Formation in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado mandates a paradigm shift: dinosaurs can no longer be thought of as absolute index fossils for end-Cretaceous strata in the Western Interior of North America” in the journal New Mexico Geology (the link is only for the sake of completeness; the paper isn’t there). John Wilkins of Evolving Thoughts was kind enough to reproduce the abstract for us;

Extensive geochronologic studies of the rocks adjacent to the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) interface in the San Juan Basin have now provided compelling data attesting to the Paleocene age of the dinosaur-bearing Ojo Alamo Sandstone in New Mexico and the Animas Formation in Colorado. These data consist of radiometric age determinations for Cretaceous strata underlying the K-T interface and palynologic, paleomagnetic, and geochemical evidence attesting to the Paleocene age of the strata above the K-T interface. The identification of the paleomagnetic normal interval – C29n – in the dinosaur-bearing lower part of the Ojo Alamo Sandstone in the southern San Juan Basin at multiple localities allows for the precise dating of the last occurrence of Paleocene dinosaurs at the top of chron C29n at 64.432 Ma.

The conventional wisdom (entrenched dogma) among most geologists, and especially among vertebrate paleontologists has been, for more than 100 years, that all dinosaurs became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. Thus, dinosaur bone found in place in a formation provided indisputable evidence that the formation was Cretaceous in age. Now, with the discovery of Paleocene dinosaurs, the paradigm of Cretaceous-only dinosaurs must shift. Let us hope that this paradigm-shift will be a smooth and placid lateral-slip along planar fault blocks rather than a grumbling, rumbling, herky-jerky sliding of jagged-edged, opposing sides past each other. Science must always be conservative and accept such paradigm shifts only on the basis of the most solid evidence, however, when the data do finally speak, the shift must be accepted by all of us who follow the data in the noble pursuit of finding out how the world was made.

The first part wasn’t so bad, but the 2nd half is awfully cranky; maybe because Fassett has been trying to prove the existence of Paleocene dinosaurs for some time. He claims that scientists must be conservative and work from evidence, but apparently is very upset that other scientists have not yet accepted his evidence, playing the “they’re all dogmatic fundamentalists” card that is reminiscent of arguments by ID advocates and those who deny birds evolved from dinosaurs. Indeed, creationists have latched on to Fassett’s papers as proof that paleontologists don’t know what they’re doing, and while I am in no way suggesting that Fassett is a creationist or sympathetic to them, creationists clearly enjoy any findings that would seem to discredit the evolutionary biologists. Likewise, it is unlikely that all dinosaurs made it into the Paleocene, so forcing this issue is unproductive; we can only work from what we’ve got, not what we wish to be true.

In any case, Fassett’s hypothesis deserves at least a look; it certainly would be dogmatic of me to say that no dinosaurs survived 1 million years into the Paleocene “because I said so”. First, though, we need to take a look at some of the other supposed “Paleocene dinosaurs,” as this is not the first time the issue has come up. In 1987, Rigby Jr., et al. published the paper “”Dinosaurs from the Paleocene Part of the Hell Creek Formation, McCone County, Montana,” and the abstract (I don’t have access to the paper itself) states;

Dinosaur remains have been recovered from six localities in the uppermost part of the Hell Creek Formation, McCone County, Montana, which on the basis of stratigraphic placement and contained fossil pollen can be shown to be of Paleocene age. This modifies the argument that an extraterrestrial impact event at the Cretaceous / Tertiary (K/T) boundary caused dinosaur extinction (L. W. Alvarez et al., 1984; Alvarez et al., 1980). The occurrence of dinosaurs in sediments younger than the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary (Rigby, 1985; Rigby and Sloan, 1985; Sloan et al., 1986; and others) supports the argument that dinosaurs survived the impact event.

While I am no expert on the subject and could very well have missed some finds, most of the alleged fossils are bone fragments and teeth (teeth being especially durable), fossils that easily could be exhumed and reburied (=”reworked.” “Transport” means travelling some distance away from the original site and only sometimes is such material reworked) in Paleocene deposits (thus being buried with Paleocene-age pollen). To the best of my understanding, there are no Paleocene dinosaur tracks, no articulated Paleocene dinosaur skeletons (which means there was little disturbance/no reworking), no Paleocene dinosaur skulls, no Paleocene dinosaur nests, or anything that would absolutely rule out reworking in some form or another. One of the prominent locales at which this reworking occurs is the Hell Creek Formation of Montana, and the subject has already been dealt with at length in the literature. From the 1990 Lofgren, et al. paper “Reworking of Cretaceous dinosaurs into Paleocene channel, deposits, upper Hell Creek Formation, Montana“;

Dinosaur teeth from Paleocene channel fills have been interpreted as indicating dinosaur survival into the Paleocene. However, enormous potential for reworking exists because these records are restricted to large channel fills that are deeply incised into Cretaceous strata. Identification of reworked fossils is usually equivocal. This problem is illustrated by the Black Spring Coulee channel fill, a dinosaur-bearing Paleocene deposit in the upper Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana. In this example, the reworked nature of well-preserved dinosaur bones is apparent only after detailed sedimentological and palynological analysis.

Because of the potential for reworking, dinosaur remains derived from Paleocene fluvial deposits should not be assigned a Paleocene age unless they (1) are found in floodplain deposits, (2) are articulated, (3) are in channels that do not incise Cretaceous strata, or (4) are demonstrably reworked from Paleocene deposits. To date, reports of “Paleocene” dinosaurs do not fulfill any of these criteria. Thus, the proposal that dinosaurs persisted into the Paleocene remains unsubstantiated.

[Although it is truncated, more details on Lofgren's analysis can be found here]

Likewise, Buck et al. reports similar findings regarding dinosaur bone and egg shell fragments in the paper “‘Tertiary Dinosaurs’ in the Nanxiong Basin, Southern China, Are Reworked from the Cretaceous.” The report concludes;

Reworking of Cretaceous fossils carried in debris and mudflows deposited during the Tertiary can account for the mixed Cretaceous and Tertiary fossils. On the basis of previous paleontological data and our sedimentological data, we conclude that controversy regarding the presence of dinosaur fossils in Tertiary rocks is the result of sedimentological processes not previously recognized.

Fassett’s dinosaurs, however, are from a different place. In a two page paper from the “Catastrophic Events Conference” called “COMPELLING NEW EVIDENCE FOR PALEOCENE DINOSAURS IN THE OJO ALAMO SANDSTONE, SAN JUAN BASIN, NEW MEXICO AND COLORADO, USA,” Fassett et al. arrive at the following conclusion about a hardosaur femur found in the Ojo Alamo Sandstone;

We suggest that this animal lived in Tertiary time and died near the place where this silicified femur was found. As the corpse decayed, river currents disarticulated the skeleton, dispersing the lighter elements, and leaving this large massive bone behind to be quickly buried and silicified.

According to the researchers, the bone was far too heavy to be transported any distance and hence it’s unlikely it was reworked, so by the very virtue of its location it must have belonged to the Paleocene age. On top of that, pollen associated with the fossil only existed in the Paleocene and rare earth element (REE) analysis is cited as upholding the Paleocene distinction of the fossil. These claims have not gone without criticism, however. In a 2003 GSA presentation titled “NO PALEOCENE DINOSAURS IN THE SAN JUAN BASIN, NEW MEXICO,” Robert Sullivan determined that the pollen associated with some lignite found near the same level as the dinosaur fossils contained pollen that came from the latest Cretaceous (and a few from the K/T boundary), with no Paleocene pollen in sight. With this finding, the status of the hadrosaur fossil being genuine became even more dubious. Furthermore, David Fatovsky and Peter Sheehan responded directly to Fassett two years ago in an issue of GSA Today;

Fassett is wrong: Fassett cites two instances of pollen-dated dinosaur material, as well as magnetostratigraphic evidence. The first instance, an isolated femur, is likely reworked. In the second, re-analysis of pollen from the same locality indicates a Maastrichtian age (Sullivan et al., 2003). This is concordant with the recovery, in the same deposits, of Maastrichtian mammalian index taxa (Weil and Williamson, 2000).

With the biostratigraphy unresolved, the assignment of normal and reversed magnetic polarity zones in the SJB to global magnetochrons remains tenuous. The issue is further complicated by the likelihood of post-Paleocene remagnetization (Butler, 1985). We thus cannot rule out the possibility that the stratigraphy proposed by Fassett is flawed.

Fassett is right: Consider an analogy by paleontologist Peter Dodson (1993, personal commun.): we might see a Model T on the road, but we would never conclude that the car was part of a modern automotive (metaphorical) ecosystem. Even if a few dinosaurs survived a million years past the K-T boundary, dinosaurs were casualties of an extinction that, the best evidence suggests, was geologically instantaneous.

As Sheehan and Fatovsky rightly point out, even if Fassett’s bone was not reworked and belonged to a genuine Paleocene dinosaur, it does not prove that all dinosaurs jumped the boundary or that the K/T impact didn’t kill the dinosaurs. If Fassett’s analysis is accurate, then the last dinosaurs seem to have been remnants that died in the instant after their relatives; in the perspective of deep time, such dinosaurs would have died a split second after those killed because of the K/T impact. How likely is it that any dinosaurs survived the impact, though? If dinosaurs were to persist into the Paleocene, then there has to be a reason they survived and others did not. Fassett has some rather odd thoughts on this subject. Quote a 2001 GSA paper by Fassett;

It is suggested that these “Lazarus” dinosaurs may have survived the short period of maximum devastation, immediately following the impact, as eggs laid shortly before the impact occurred. Even though all mature dinosaurs were probably killed by the impact and the ensuing period of global darkness, their recently laid eggs would have provided a survival sanctuary for some of the developing dinosaur embryos for from one to two years. The San Juan Basin’s Paleocene dinosaur fauna is named the Alamoan fauna for the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, the formation in which these dinosaur fossils have been found.

Fasset even extends his hypothesis to state that frequent volcanic activity in North America prior to the end-Creataceous impact even selected dinosaurs who could survive ash-falls and other events associated withe eruptions. In a GSA presentation, Fassett argued;

Assuming even a modest compaction ratio of 10:1 for fresh-volcanic-ash/devitrified clay it is clear that these ash falls were meters thick – as much as 5.5 m for the thickest ash observed in these rocks! If we assume that the 7 dated ashes represent one-tenth of the eruptions that occurred during the 2.72 m.y., seventy such eruptions could have occurred during that time interval resulting in a frequency of one of these devastating events every forty-thousand years or so! These events, and their inevitable evolutionary consequences, must clearly have prepared the dinosaurs for the much more devastating end-Cretaceous event allowing some of them to live on into the Paleocene.

Granted, I have not read the actual papers, but this doesn’t make much sense to me. Dinosaur eggs that somehow were preserved hatched out into a world devastated (essentially deep-fried, if you will) by a meteor impact and persisted for another million years before vanishing for some undisclosed reason. Given what we have been learning about dinosaurs and the way they cared for their young, it is highly unlikely this scenario would have panned out; the eggs would need care and the young would likely need some amount of assistance as well, and there would be no adults (as per Fassett’s hypothesis) to do it. I find it equally unlikely that volcanic eruptions every 40,000 years ago created “eruption-resistant dinosaurs” through natural selection, so the mechanism by which Paleocene dinosaurs would have persisted is still unknown.

As I stated before, however, I have not yet seen the new paper and I am indeed very interested in it. I am skeptical (and there’s no reason why I should not be), but if Fassett’s find is as significant as he suggests then it is certainly something of note and requires more attention. Still, I am a little put-off by the title and abstract of the new paper; the author comes off as self-righteous and as looking for a smooth acceptance of his own ideas rather than argument. Right or wrong, the paper will not pull the rug out from underneath paleontology, but rather add to our understanding of how whole groups of animals go extinct, be it with a bang or a whimper.

(Hat-tip to Evolving Thoughts & Pondering Pikaia)

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16 responses

21 06 2007
Zach Miller

I’ll bet some dinosaurs DID survive the meteor collision (across the globe, maybe). I don’t believe for a second that every single dinosaur on the planet just up and fell over at the end of the Cretaceous. It’s incredibly likely that many dinosaurs survived, but I doubt any huge populations did. In other words, I doubt that dinosaurs survived past the million-year mark.

21 06 2007
Will Baird

It’s certainly interesting. However, the style of the implies, at least to those of us that have been online for a while, something less than flattering. That said, I sincerely hope that this is just a case of frustrated researcher and not a replay of Dr Alexander Abian.

21 06 2007

Thanks for the comments guys. Zach; I’m going to re-edit/issue a qualification because I agree that all the dinosaurs everywhere didn’t fall over the moment the meteor hit. I don’t see how it could be done, but it would be great if we could figure out how long it took for their extinction after the impact to occur, or at least what different ecologies were like. I doubt dinosaurs persisted for a million years into the Paleocene, but I certainly don’t think they all died the second the meteor hit.

Will; As I could tell from my afternoon of research, Fassett seems to have been fighting this war for a while, getting more and more frustrated as time goes on. Hopefully someone who has access to the article will be able to tell us if there’s anything new in it, but I have the feeling that it’s generally a rehash of what’s already been done.

21 06 2007
Zach Miller

I’m reminded, in a way, of Jack Horner’s constant assertions in the face of mounting evidence to the contrary to that T.rex was a scavenger, PERIOD. Horner came to Alaska when Sue visited our museum and gave a lecture about how T.rex subsisted entirely on dead animals. Then, the next day, Pete Larson gave a lecture that kind of blew Horner’s argument out of the water.

Again, it’s not a question of extremes. In all likelihood, T.rex went after most of its prey, but I doubt it would just turn down a free (dead) meal. There are no, count ‘em, NO modern animals that scavenger 100% of their food.

But I’m rambling now. The point is that Horner, at his lecture, seemed irritated and “tired” of this argument. I later spoke with a guy who’d met Horner a few times and he told me that Horner is just jaded now, and pushes that theory even though he knows it’s likely wrong. Seems to be the same with this Fassett guy.

21 06 2007
Dinosaurs: A Creationist’s Fairy Tale

[...] More here. [...]

22 06 2007

I guess at this point there is not enough material supporting the claim of dinosaurs in the Paleocene to point toward the type of environment conducive to dinosaur survival, or even to which dinosaurs were likely to have survived. Thus, no insight on why some may have survived. It all seems kind of weak.

22 06 2007

Mark; I agree that it seems pretty weak. Part of the problem is that the Maastrichtian seems to be entirely absent from the area where Fassett is finding these bones, and when Sullivan analyzed the hadrosaur femur in question it was associated with Maastrichtian pollen, but obviously above where it should have been. Something very interesting happened in this place, and other fossils have been found well out of place here too; Prof. Steve Steve himself visited the are and there are lots of trilobites & crinoid stems waaaay above where they should be.

Anyway, like you side Mark, all we’ve got is an isolated femur that is most likely reworked. If the case for dinosaurs 1 million years into the Paleocene is to be made, we’ll need much stronger evidence for it.

7 07 2007

I once read an interesting notion about theropod-like teeth which were found in tertiary strata. But it turned out that they belonged to the small terrestrial ziphodont crocodile Pristichampsus, whose teeth looked nearly identical to those of several theropods, especially because they were thecodont like dinosaurs.
I once made my thoughts about the mass-extinction 65Mio years ago, and which animals survived. It is intersting that really only small and medium-sized animals survived. Those which were small (including mammals and most reptiles) didn´t need much food, could find shelter in holes and caves and could survive even if there is only much food available (for example insects, just think about Hiroshima, they can reproduce very fast even after huge catastrophes). The only big ones were some big turtles and comparably small crocodiles. Especially those animals are highly specialized in surviving long times without or with very little to eat and drink, crocodiles can even bury caves and survied the droughts and some species even cold temperatures. They can life for a long time and reproduce again very fast when there are better conditions, because they can lay a lot of eggs. Female turtles are even able to carry sperm for several years, so even one fertilized female could theoretically be the beginning of a new population.
I think it is very interesting that even the larger species of terrestrial and aquatic crocodiles died out. I can´t really imagine that any endothermic theropod survived. Same thing with bigger herbivores, which needed a lot of food, and this constantly. In my eyes, it is really impossible that any bigger dinosaur (and I mean with big only as big as a man or so) had the possibility to survive. The smaller species would have had perhaps also problems, because they had a fast metabolism and were not adapted to life in holes or caves.

7 07 2007

Thanks again for your comments Sordes; there definitely seems to be a correlation between extinction at the K/T and body size/endothermy, although knowing the physiology and behavior of the Cretaceous animals would definitely help us figure out what happened. I forget what paper it was in, but I remember there being a Hell Creek fossil survey some years ago where it was found that just about everything there was hit hard, but I’ll have to look at it again. Still, obviously the world changed and changed quickly & temporarily, just enough to favor different kinds of life.

22 03 2008
James Van

You wrote: “While I am no expert on the subject…” – So, with due respect, your attempt to disregards an expert paleontologist James Fassett is nonsense.

By the way to be creationist or evolucionist can not support any kind of scietific evidence, or disregard it as well.

“When there are many and many people trying to prove that you are wrong, this is becasue you are right”.

This not means that I believe completly on James Fassett, but his works make us to thinking about.

Breaking paradigms hurt so much.

16 07 2009
'Prof.' MUSTER ( egyptologist)

About large extinctions at the 65 50 & 40 million years interface bounderies ( were they All based on gravitational-pull changes ?)

The Late Dr. Velikovsky is an ( Paleo-)geologist-interloper who wrote 6 Books prooving that ancient events may have occurred nearer to us in history than we thought.

Large impact craters and Tsunamies cobnventionally dated in 65 50 and 40 million years ago may have happened in historical times when the ancient-
Egyptians described around 800 bc, the impact of Earth beiing hit twice by a comet the Size of the Moon, that broke all waterholding mountainlake Damms in 8.000 bc called the Quarternary Lake dam-Burst.

In the National Geographic Magazine the other day ( I forget which Year & issue.) there was a feature about crooked meteorite skidmarks that when puzzled together represented straight lines indicating how Earth ‘s Pangea looked before it split-up ! into a Laurasia and Gondwana-Part.

If any Dinosaurs made it well into the Cretaceous Epoch and survived several landsplits creating/ evolving into new subspecies while the ” original” model seemed to have ” become extinct” than the phrase ” Dinosaur extinction” may aquire a new meaning !

In the “Rise and fall of the Dinosaur” John Stojanowski ( 2007.)mentions gravitational causes for the -outof proportion-gigantic Dinosaurs( who all walked on their toes
which the Elephant as a mammal still does and yet is not extinct !)
So if the moon and Mars would have an oxigen based-Athmosphere birds
would be gigantic there !

That many of the largest Craters could be Exploded hydrant-GAS explosions on tectonic=faultlines could explain the loss of Mass and a greater Cm3-increase of Earth’s gravity.
But how then do we explain that smaller human species live in mountains and the largest ones in River-mouths!( or is that a question of WEar & Economics?”)


Paleontologists should read DR. VELIKIOVSKY’S BOOK ON “WORLDS IN COLLISION” where-in an indeed Change meeting or collision of Earth with Planet Venus and Mars occurred( but actually it was Both the Moon that collided with earth beiing called the Replacement of venus and the paramour of Mars and thus wrongly identified with these planets when colliding with Earth in as late as 1055 & 855 bc.)

The socalled “QUARTERNARY, Mountain lake and desert dam Bust”of approx 8.000 bc happened according to dr. Velikovsky in 855 bc exactly
meaning that all events in 8.000 bc actually occurred in 855 bc including the THERA/ santorini-volcano explosion caused by the Moonfall(of Satan.”)”

I will present my 20 minitues abstract presentation at the 3rd-Atlantic geological Conference-2010( sponsored by “Heliotopos-Publishinghouse>)
at Santorini/Thera in july 2010 to pull the ‘Rug’from my fellow Atlantologists fabled quicksand-Theories ( based on several Greek translation-faults!)!

Sincerely yours,

For any comments my Email is; dd 17 July-2009

16 07 2009
'Prof.' MUSTER (egyptologist )

Dear mr.” LEAPLAPS”, it is now 2009 so I apologize for this very-late reply !

As an Egyptologist, I have no knowledge of prehistoric events prior to 3.000 bc!
But I heard that after the 65 million afgo Paleocene ecxtinctions there were more extinctions from the Eo-Oligocene extinction-comet that hit Earth now called ” TISTRIA “.

So Since there is a sequence of TEN biggest impact craters on Earth it would be intresting to see a study of their locations and maybe in the ” Debris-Shadow of these Crater impacts there were allready extinct large plain Mud-volcanoes where these out-of -time Dinosaurs could have found shelter

Like in Ethiopia where Mr Edgar Rice Burrougs initially situated his ” Tarzan” romances.

But what I miss in these Meteorcrater and Paleocene Dinosaur theories is the Theorem of the demonised dr Velikovsky who argued as an interloper, that around no earlier than 1.000 bc not a mere cometshower but the Entire Planet Mars approached Earth so close as to be able to create Tsunami Tidalwaves !

And the accompagny eartquakes ofcause in historical times the Maruts/Hippocampii or “Horses” of Mars were said to cause earth-Quakes.
It is evidenced by Paleogeologists that prior to the Lifting of the Andes and Hymalay-mountains, loose Comets skipped the now wandered continents

These ” continents when layed along the straightened-out Skidmarklines of those ” Passing”comets onece formed the lost continent of PANGEA which supposedly occupied ONE side of Earth while on the otherside was only a submerged seabed when Comets fell THERE the landbased Dinosaurs could survive it.

Dr.Velikovsky pouinted out that Not only Cretaceous crevassed were filled-up but also large tilted LAKES were filled with all kinds of floodded dead Animals
that havebeen washed away by a Tsunamy after the earthquakes which dustparticles suffocated every large animal no matter how low or high it settled.

To summerize:
Whilst Paleogeologists bicker about dinosaur-extinctions in Epoch bounderies 65 /50 and 40 millions of years ago, an interloper geologist dr Velikovsky says that this all happened inbetween 1055 and 855 bc by a near collisions of first Planet Venus than Planet Mars( as discribed in the IPUWER -papyrus and King AHMOSES Deluge/Storm-Account in the Leiden University Library Holland. )

My Abstract describing this LATE Tsunami event will be read at the third Atlantis-2010 conference in July-10, at a geologists-meeting in the Santorini/ Thera-isle in Greece.

Sincerely yours,
My email-address for your comments is: thank you for your effort and time to reply !

31 05 2010
Brent Welch

Haha I am honestly the first reply to your incredible writing!

1 10 2011

I’m pretty sure that big dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus, Triceratops and Sauropods didn’t survive for more than a few hundred (maybe thousants) years, but smaller creatures such as troodonts, dromaeosaurs, small ceratopsians, hypsilophodonts, ornithomimids and the generalistic hadrosaurs may have survived.

With the mammals starting to dominate and global rainforests arising, the paleocene world would be exeptionally suited for creatures like troodonts, which are already suited for forest life, warmblooded and consume mammals. Also small hypsilophodonts may have survived as they ate small plants and fit perfectly between the small mammals and other survivors into the paleocene. I actually wouldn’t be surprised to find out that troodonts and hypsilophodonts survived well into the paleocene era (something like a few million years, until big birds and bigger mammals came to dominate).

Still I think it’s not impossible for bigger dinosaurs to survive for a few million years after the extinction. Look at the 10 meter sharks Ptychodus and Otodus and also some creatures on land like large individuals of Champsosaurus and some crocodilians like Borealosuchus/Leidyosuchus. They were not really generalists (exept the crocodilians) and pretty large still they survived. Remember: not all miracles have been discovered yet! (^_^)

31 10 2012
9 10 2013

I haven’t read any of Fassett’s papers, but I heard a talk he gave a few days ago. There is a discontinuity of about 8 million years duration between the Cretaceous and Paleocene beds, so detailed info on the exact K/T boundary is missing. The hadrosaur femur, which occurs way up the column and does not look at all reworked, is not the only evidence alongside the palynology, paleomagnetism, RE evidence, etc. There are also other very large, even sauropod, limb bones weathering out on the surface. In addition there are 34 associated elements from another hadrosaur skeleton, which would indicate in situ burial and not reworking. He has found around 20 dinosaur taxa, including Alamosaurus. Now he’s speculating that survivor dinos remote from the meteor impact site could have recolonized NM, surviving some few million years into the Paleocene. When you check out the distribution of a taxon like Richardoestesia, this explanation seems plausible. As someone noted above, why couldn’t some dinos have survived into the Tertiary? Strictly restricting dinosaurs to the Cretaceous has become a fetish, you could even say a dogma or an orthodoxy. No wonder Fassett is cranky.

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