[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Stuff



Just a couple of notes:

1) The review committee for the Dino Society is made up of three people
(or however close we get) and it isn;t at all a difficult process, in no
small part to the members who get along fine and don't seem to think that
total agreement is a prerequisite to civility. Also, I can speak for myself
in this context only but I don;t reject things because they have something
I don't totally agree on but instead just want the product to reflect the
general state of thought of the paleo community on dinos, with room for
lots of variance in some areas. The three of us vote on each submission
and majority rules. Most of the time (probably >75%), it's unanimous. The
other times one of us seems randomly the odd man out. Some of the items
are tough calls because it's tough to know how lax you should be on things
with a heavy entertainment value or attempts to simplify things for real
young kids. We do the best we can and try to make sure everything has
some educational component. Most are pretty clear-cut.

2) On sauropod eggs, one line of research by John Damuth would seem to
suggest that they probably did lay eggs. John has data that suggests that
the reason dinos were able to get as big as they did is because they were
egg layers as opposed to live-bearers. In mammals, the bigger you get, the
bigger the offspring and the longer the gestation time. As things get
bigger they erode some of the safety factor in producing enough offspring
to replace the population. Elephants and some of the really big other
mammals show evidence of being at the brink of not being able to replace
the next generation. It would be interesting to look at those mammals that
have succeeded even though they are obviously cutting into this safety factor.
Now dinos that lay eggs don't have that problem and John's initial research
suggests they even had a correlation between egg number and dino size, which
would be typical for most organisms. Consequently, the bigger you get, the
more offspring you can put out and you are no longer at the limits mammal
taxa feel in getting enough offspring out. Both modes are neat in their own
way, just that to get really big, it's probably better to lay eggs. John
even had evidence, if I recall, that large mammals show signs of stress
related to their size/replication predicament, but I cannot recall
what it was. IT felt like a good story to me and John was on his way
to fleshing and testing. The toughest part was convincingly showing
the size/egg number correlation in dinos, but he had at least some data
that suggested it would come out. We;ll see.

TTFN   Ralph Chapman, NMNH