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Re: Upper size limits in dinosaurs and whales

> Well, of course, along comes David Gillette's book on Seismosaurus, with 
> estimates in the hundred-ton range for both Seismosaurus  and Ultrasaurus.  
> So much for my point.
> What I would like to know, though, is: are these weight estimates generally 
> accepted?  Has anyone analysed the mechanics of such a beast?  And is the 
> reason a large whale dies on the beach independent of size (as it might be 
> because even dolphins die during strandings, I suppose).
> How can whales grow so large?

A whales diet is also very high in protein and contains many nutriants
that is not found in the kind of diet sauropods may have had.

Whale live in a thermally consistant environment, where as sauropods had
to overcome the problem of heat regulation due to changing temperature and
exposure versus large mass.

> Water can support the weight of even the largest whale. On land, a  
> hundred-ton animal might be crushed by its own weight.
> On land, very big animals have a problem - gravity.  Even the largest 
> dinosaurs were much lighter than a blue whale [WELL, I GUESS THAT ISN'T 
> TRUE!]  In the ocean, whales don't have that problem because water buoys 
> them up.  They still need vast amounts of food to supply their huge bodies, 
> but their size helps them retain heat in icy waters.
> A whale stranded on a beach, though, is in trouble even though it can 
> breathe air.  It may overheat in the sun, and the weight of its body can 
> crush its internal organs.  many people try to help stranded whales, but it 
> is very difficult to do this properly.

There is so much we do not know of cetans (some believe beaching behavior
is caused by illness and individuals and maybe entire pods will beach
themselves for the good of the healthy members and will even refuse to be
put back to sea).

As for sauropods and other dinosaurs I believe even larger ones than
Seismosaurus will be discovered.  The Late Jurassic and Late Cretaceous
are definitely producing very large remains.