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Re: Sauropod heat? A serious problem...
Elephants do have heat radiators, it's true, but so do jackrabbits
and kitfoxes. On the other hand, elephants have nearly naked skin, an
adaptation not seen in too many small endotherms. The fact that elephants,
excepting mammoths, have so little insulation seems to me to imply that
they need to be able to dump heat more effectively than do smaller
animals. A twenty ton Apatosaurus in an arid environment like the Jurassic
floodplain would seem to need this even more. Naked skin implies to me
that big animals like elephants and rhinos are facing problems losing
On the subject of heat radiators- there is a section of diplodocid
tail, apparently, bearing a little stair-step skin ridge down the back.
Along these lines, apparently. I suppose if it were a few inches tall and
ran eighty feet, it might have a fair amount of surface area for radiative
cooling. Hey, I wonder if that might be what protoceratops had those tall
tail spines for- kind of like jackrabbit ears. does anyone know if
that feature is sexually dimorphic?