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Re: PLEUROCOELOUS VERTEBRAE IN SAUROPODS
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Nathan Myhrvold wrote:
> There are only a very limited number of ways to "store" heat - elevated
> temperature, phase change or chemically. Since elephants don't have
> boilers or reversable chemical means to store heat (and it seems
> unlikely that sauropod did either), this almost certainly means that
> their core body temperature becomes elevated during the day (due to
> internal sources, as well as some heat absorbed through the skin, even
> with restricted bloob flow). Then, your flushing process would
> presumably "dump" the heat by lowering the core body temperature.
Just a crazy thought. How big were the internal air sacs? And how
strong? Conceivably, you could use them as a thermal storage system.
During the night, you'd pump (and I mean pump hard) air into them,
using an esophogeal structure and linearly sequencing the muscles.
This would heat you up due to the compression of the air, and due
to increased physical exertion. Then during the day, you'd slowly
bleed the air out, most effectively using it for point cooling
of a major organ such as the heart. This is a standard PV=nRT
gas law effect.
I doubt you can store that much energy this way with a reasonable
internal pressure. You'd need to get to several atmospheres.
If you needed to keep something small seriously
cool it might be worth it (gonads?).
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