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Sauropod reproduction



On Fri, 9 Jun 1995, Tony Thulborn wrote:

>  - Alternatively, the huge difference in mass between a mother sauropd 
> and her eggs (likely to be smaller than that of the elephant bird) allows 
> the possiblity of huge numbers of eggs at a time.  Which puts it way over 
> to the r end of the reproductive spectrum (like toads who spawn lots) rather 
> than the K end at which you find most mammals.  So maybe they didn't 
> bother with parental care, figuring that at least some of their low cost 
> eggs would survive anyway.  Again, no problem for dinner menus (at least not 
> compared with large herbivorous mammals).

How about huge numbers of eggs laid a few a day over the course of a season
or, in tropical species, continuously?  The older siblings would protect 
their nestmates from being trodden on by careless parents and maybe perform 
whatever other care was required.  I imagine the juveniles could best 
acquire their no doubt complex gut flora by eating older individuals' 
regurgitated food or even faeces.  They're beginning to sound like termites.
Strange.
                                                                  Bill Adlam