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Re: Fwd: Re: RE: Warm Blooded vs. Cold Blooded



>Greg Paul writes:
>
>B) A little more seriously, the mouths of 30-50 tonne brachiosaurs were
>420-480 mm across. I admit they would have a problem with Jackie 
>GLeason
>
>GSPaul 

I'm wondering whether all this business about mouth size may be beside the
point.  The comparisons everyone is making are to predators, who only get
food items occasionally and must deal with them, therefore, at fairly rare
intervals.  Herbivores usually do not eat this way.  They can (as elephants
do) spend most of their waking hours eating, often with only limited
movement and energy cost involved.

So a big sauropod eating conifer leaves (if that is what they ate) would not
be required to handle them in large lumps at scattered intervals.  The
important factor may not have been how big their mouths were but how many
mouthfuls they could cram into their guts in (say) a ten-hour period.  So it
is processing time (roughly mouthful size X feeding time per day / time to
process one mouthful of food) that would determine how much they could sow
down - and I doubt that we will ever be able to produce such a figure, but
the higher the number of mouthfuls that cn be processed per day the smaller
each mouthful can be.
--
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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