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Letters to Nature
Nature 358, 59 - 61 (02 July 1992); doi:10.1038/358059a0

Marine transgressions and the evolution of Cretaceous dinosaurs

John R. Horner, David J. Varricchio & Mark B. Goodwin

Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana 59717, USA
*Museum of Paleontology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, USA

FLUCTUATIONS (transgressions and regressions) of intercon-tinental sea-ways during the Mesozoic Era affected the habitat area of coastal plains by alternately restricting the space during transgressive phases and expanding the space during regressive phases. In western North America a coastal plain stretched along the eastern front of the young Rocky Mountains during most of the Late Cretaceous. Here we report results of a six-year field study of the sediments and dinosaur remains from this coastal plain in Montana that provide evidence that anagenesis characterized dinosaur evolution at this time, and that the evolutionary pulse coincided with a marine transgression.



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