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Re: dinosaur inspiration
At 04:39 PM 9/17/96 -0500, Nick Longrich writes [quoting Rob -- MR]:
>> I concentrate on the theropods for one reason, if we can determine the
>> metabolism of the predators, we can safely assume a similar metabolism
>> for the herbivores.
> Komodo dragons, pit vipers and crocodiles (both modern and the
>Eocene Pristichampsus) come to mind as exceptions, along with the Great
>White and bird-eating spiders- for that matter, presumably any spiders
>would have metabolisms quite different from partially-endothermic
>flying insects they capture. Granted, these are all generally (maybe with
>the exception of the Great White) ambush, rather than pursuit, predators,
>but there are also endothermic ambush predators (many cats).
However, none of these animals are in the position of
Top-Land-Carnivore. It is this species which will determine the
minimum endothermic level of the Top-Land-Herbivore. Lower down on
the food chain, things might get a little less certain, even getting
to the point where the rule might not apply, but it can be extremely
useful for the largest land animals. I can't quite make this fit for
crocodiles though, perhaps there is something special about their
niche which allows them to dominate in areas with a high mammal
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist
"Nothing can save the city now."