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The Dinosauria$
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David Weishampel

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242098

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242098.001.0001

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Dinosaur Paleoecology

Dinosaur Paleoecology

Chapter:
(p.614) Twenty-Six Dinosaur Paleoecology
Source:
The Dinosauria
Author(s):

David E. Fastovsky

Joshua B. Smith

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520242098.003.0029

This chapter discusses the paleoecology of dinosaurs. It first examines the variety of adaptations of dinosaurs to sustain their herbivorous habits. It then describes Mesozoic paleobotany and outlines the coevolution between dinosaurs and plants. During the Late Triassic, there was the coincident rise of conifers and the appearance of prosauropods, large-bodied dinosaurs potentially capable of reaching higher than any herbivore that had preceded them. The Middle Jurassic was a key time in the evolution of dinosaur herbivory, for it was during this time that a number of groups of ornithischian herbivores must have arisen, including stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, and some ornithopods. The chapter also examines the paleoecology of dinosaur carnivory and provides examples of paleoecological reconstructions of dinosaur-bearing ecosystems.

Keywords:   paleoecology, paleobotany, prosauropods, herbivory, ornithischian herbivores, stegosaurs, ankylosaurs, ornithopods, carnivory

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