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Re: Size limits of terapods?



On the size limits of land animals.

A) Because they have immense heat storage capacity, and low mass specific
metabolic rates even if they are mammals, land giants are virtually
impossible to overheat under natural conditions (which is why some of the
biggest elephants live in deserts).

B) I do not have the data on nerve signal transmission speed on hand, even in
the longest sauropods it would have taken only a second or so to tell the tip
of the tail what to do.

C) Because the heart must pump blood at high pressures, the pressure of the
blood in the feet must be higher than in a column of water of the same depth.
The tallest sauropods appear to have been about 50-60 ft., and that MAY
represent an ultimate height limit. However, it is possible to make an animal
long and low, and extremely heavy.

D) Structural limits to size are poorly understood. Calculations suggest that
even the largest sauropods had high safety factors.

E) Because there is only so much food available on a continent, the need to
keep adult populations large enough probably limits the size of individuals.
See DINOSAUR EGGS AND BABIES for why dinosaurs may have grown larger than
land mammals.

GSPaul