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Re: dinosaur inspiration
On 9/18/96 Achut.Reddy@Eng.Sun.COM writes:
>Rob Meyerson writes:
>>At 12:07 PM 9/16/96 -0500, martin writes:
>>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.
>Not that I disagree with this, but what is your argument here?
>Is it that if the predators' metabolism is high, the metabolism
>of their prey has to be as high in order to have a chance of outrunning
>them? A counter-example would be modern predatory birds that
>hunt snakes and other reptiles.
>Achut Reddy So many fossils... so little time!
This is an example of faulty, not-well-thought-out logic that predominates
quite a bit of the discussions on this list. The counter-example presented
here, that modern birds hunt snakes and reptiles, seems at a simple level
to counter the supposition that if you can determine therapod metabolism
you can assume their prey had to be on an equal playing field. This is a
bad analogue BECAUSE obviously, the scale (size factor) has not been
considered. Snakes and other small reptiles can evade endothermic predators
by a number of devices that were not available to large dinosaurs. It isn't
easy to "hide" or "blend in" when your weight is in the tonnage! The
analogy just doesn't fit.