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Re: PLEUROCOELOUS VERTEBRAE IN SAUROPODS
Oops! I meant to send this to the dinosaur list but accidentally sent it
to Mr. Paul instead (sorry, sir).
JS Paul wrote:
> Rapidly dumping body heat into the cool night sky is easy. Just flush
> the skin with blood from the body core until the heat is unloaded. In the
> daytime minimize heat gain from the environment by minimizing blood flow
> to the body surface. Giant tropical mammals do it every day, and the
> bigger the animal the better it works.
....but this would obviously decrease in efficiency for larger and larger
animals (skin area increases roughly proportionally with the square of
length of the animal, whereas volume increases roughly with its cube).
There would necessarily, then, be a limit to the effectiveness this type
of heat dumping.
I can imagine a reflective (or bright white) large sauropod constantly
wagging its highly vascular tail as a cooling device to aid in this
Oh, and here's one more idea: white is effective at reflecting solar
radiation but it is not as good as black for radiating the heat away from
a body at night. Perhaps some large dinosaurs could control the color of
their skins to reflect solar radiation during the day, but turn black and
become more effective radiators at night.