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RE: Redwoods and baby sauropods



Peter said:

>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?

 Do you mean tallest or biggest around?  One kinda redwood is the biggest   
around, and one kind is the tallest, but they aren't both at the same   
time. I chose redwoods because I know they tip over easy because of the   
shallow root system, and because I knew they were co-patriots of   
dinosaurs.  I don't know about the root systems of other conifers well   
enough to include them.

>First of all, I suspect an average size conifer is in the Western
>Hemlock-Douglass Fir-Western Redcedar range, not the redwood range.

OK, what kind of rootball does it have?
Can it be easily knocked over by a creature with the weight and leverage   
to knock it over?
Does it have an extensive taproot?
 If difficult to push over, then the dinosaurs that were of a type that   
knocked over trees would have tried with probably be narrower ones that   
they might be able to push over or snap.  I know that petrified forests   
have evidence of beaver-gnawing preserved, but are any fossil trees   
fossilized from a dinosaur era that had been snapped or chewed?  (I think   
it's Petrified Forest National Monument in ?Utah? with the beaver-chewed   
stump)

>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.

Sounds plausible.  Makes me happy.

>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,

That's what I was saying in the first place!!
Sauropods that can knock over trees place browse into the level not   
normally reached by juveniles.  An advantage over non-rearing sauropods.
I aslo stated that adults can reach the browse that juveniles can reach,   
and so compete with their own kind.  This would counter that   
disadvantage.

>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.

Also the adults yelling 'timber!' probably didn't hurt, either  ;]
 -Betty Cunningham

For more information on the history of the Coastal redwood forests-go   
here:
Man and the Redwoods          by Dr. James P. Gilligan, 1965
http://www.batnet.com/askmar/Redwood_History.html