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Nick Longrich writes;
> Longer muscles can contract over greater distances, but
>the strength of a muscle is directly related to it's cross sectional
>area. This is why modern herbivores tend o have short, broad sheets of
>muscle to pull on the jaw; because it develops much more force.
This is a good point. I'll have to think things over during Christmas
> The earliest mammals, it was my impression, were really tiny
>and probably ate bugs, small animals, or seeds. Making arguments about
>the functional anatomy of a 5 tonne grazer from the anatomy of a tiny
>insectivore not even related to doesn't make a lot of sense.
Whoops! Sorry, but I meant to say "therapsids" when I said "earliest
mammals." Dear God, I'm turning into a cladist!
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"