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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.

S.S. Lazarus