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Redwoods and baby sauropods



martin@hpentccl.grenoble.hp.com wrote:

> Hmm ok Betty, but the largest tree was estimated at having a mass of 1 
> million 
> lbs, ie about 446 tons (according to the blurb issued by the State Park). If 
> we 
> say that around the edge of a forest the trees are smaller (say 1/4 size) we 
> still have a tree of 100 tons or so. Still rather a dangerous size to be 
> pushing 
> over, even if you're a dino of 30+ tons (and could it be done I wonder?). 
> "mind 
> you stay behind me children while I push over this big tree. oops sorry 
> darling 
> did it fall on your head?"

You're talking about redwoods right?  Isn't your point invalidated a bit by 
choosing the very biggest of trees and not the very biggest of sauropods?  
First of all, I suspect an average size conifer is in the Western 
Hemlock-Douglass Fir-Western Redcedar range, not the redwood range.  These 
trees are substantially smaller than redwoods and would have been felled by 
something in the Apatosaurus range more easily.  Also, there are indications 
that 
some sauropods might have lived in the Morrison that were large enough to 
feel something redwood sized; I'm speaking of Amphicoelias fragilisimus 
(sp?).

Another thing is that knocking a tree over wouldn't be too quick.  I'd think 
that a diplodocoid would do something like rear up and rock the tree back and 
forth loosening the roots until it was no longer stable and able to fall 
over.

Lastly, I doubt that sauropods would have done this much unless they were 
feeding babies and young animals that were not large enough to reach leafy 
branches, and all the underbrush available to them was ferns and unpalatable 
mosses.  If the animal is already rearing, why waste the energy of rocking 
the tree over if it could just feed where it was?  I also doubt that babies 
would be smushed by said tree either: trees are noisy when they fall down and 
would probably be rocked down slowly, so the babies would have been able to 
notice and get out of the way with plenty of time.

Peter Buchholz
gpb6845@msu.oscs.montana.edu

"Stummies?"