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Re: Sauropod heat? A serious problem...



Steven S. Lazarus wrote:

> 1) Obviously the animal existed.
> 2) Obviously it was a highly succesful animal.
> 3) If it was an unbearable existence, it wouldn't have evolved.
> It's unlikely that sauropods laid awake at night worrying about their heat
> problem.
> It seems that sometimes some people are so lost in their intellectual games
> they play with themselves that they actually believe their own B.S. and
> that *poof* that dinosaur is just going to *up an not have existed at all
> because I can't figure out how it could exist as it did*. These are not the
> dinos limitations. They're our limitations. 

     That isn't fair at all.  All adaptations are ways of dealing with 
problems.  A seagull has the problem of getting enough fresh water to 
drink, which it solves by drinking sea water and excreting the salt.  A 
mammal or bird has the problem of keeping thier metabolically produced 
heat in thier body, which they solved by evolving hair and integument 
feathers.  Elephants are big animals that like in hot environments and 
build up metabolically and solar produced heat, which they dump (in 
part) through thier big ears.  A sauropods were huge animals that 
built up metabolically and solarly produced heat, and got rid of it by....we 
don't know.  That was the question.  Yes, obviously they dealt with the 
problemsomehow, but HOW?  Just saying they existed doesn't make the 
problems magically go away.  Your response did not address the question, or 
the problems involved.    
     Modern animals have adaptations that allow them to get around the 
problems and dangers of thier day to day existence.  All this discussion 
was about was HOW sauropods dealt with the problem of heat buildup.
     Your attitude is similar to the one that cropped up with the T.rex 
debate.  I think there is a common tendancy to forget that dinosaurs were 
animals with the same difficulties as modern animals in maintaining 
homeostasis and coping with annoying biological, thermodynamic, and mechanical
concerns and limitations.  They obviously dealt with these problems SOMEHOW: 
figuring out HOW is to a large degree what paleontology and the study of 
evolution is all about.    

LN Jeff
O-