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RE: Rearing diploducids



Martin said:

> I'm just back from my holiday in Ca. (great place; like France
> without the French, bless 'em) and it occurs to me that it would be
> very dangerous for large diplocids in herds to push over trees; the
> risk of crushing young would surely be great. They presumably were
> not skilled lumberjacks. Ok elephants do it, but aren't they
> generally considered to be intelligent (ie more than your average
> dino) and so perhaps can work out not to stand in the way.

Baby ducks FOLLOW the momma duck.  Why not something working the same way   
with a 100 ft long bird relative? If momma is in the front (or all the   
big mommas are on the leading edge of the herd) and push a tree or trees   
over (in the direction they are heading, I would think), that would put   
all the babies behind the mommas, without having to any more thinking   
about it than baby ducks--which aren't considered to be as intelligent as   
elephants, either.

> Having just spent some time in your Coastal Redwood forest, I don't
> see _any_ dinosaur pushing some of those suckers over

You should be here during one of our rainy winters, when a good, stiff   
wind  will ALWAYS take out the one likeliest to fall on a road.  (Highway   
17, Big Basin Road-oh the horrors) They have really really shallow root   
systems, by the way.  You can tell by looking at the tiny rootball after   
the tree tips over.  This happens a lot.  When one goes, it frequently   
brings down other trees with it.  This clears out where the undergrowth   
is shaded by the tree canopy, and the baby trees finally get enough light   
to grow into big trees. This is part of the Coastals life cycle.
Suggests a need for something to knock over a few trees on a regular   
basis, now doesn't it?

> (it also occurs to me, that one of the most impressive features of
> these forests was the huge temperature drop within the forest; these
> treees _control_ their environment, maintaining a (fairly) constant
> very cool temperature.  Implications for endothermic/ectothermic
> aniamls, perhaps?).

Well, in the Western Sunset Garden book it says that Coastal redwoods   
like to grow where it's foggy.  Since they are in the fog most of the   
time, and are very shady trees en masse (that's french), it does get   
quite cold under them, and these sneaky trees use this microclimate to an   
advantage since the conditions help to condense the water in the fog,   
which helps the water to stick to the trees, which funnels it towards the   
shallow roots.  (since they don't really have big tap roots to get to the   
underground water supplies)  Coastals are a bit more unhappy where it   
snows.

 -Betty Cunningham