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Re: Big = Old = Advanced?

In a message dated 97-08-22 14:42:42 EDT, Bettyc@flyinggoat.com (Bettyc)

<< Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
 > Large animals needs lots of territory, and have smaller populations,
 > gestation and/or growth-to-maturity periods, and smaller
 > All these factors place clear limits on their potential for
 But dinosaurs are KNOWN for their remarkably large clutches.  A single
 non-flying bird might lay 3-5 eggs in one clutch and there are numerous
 examples of dinosaurs (and crocs AND sea turtles) easily outnumbering
 these counts.  We've argued about the fact that the higher numbers in
 each clutch give more of the fragile hatchlings a chance to survive to
 adulthood. >>

I don't think those clutches are remarkably large. Indeed, they're not
unreasonable at all, given the sizes of the adults. Besides, that's only one
factor among many that tends to limit the diversity of large animals. I
consider territory/living space the single most important factor limiting
diversity, something that's borne out by the island ecosystem studies of
Edward O. Wilson and others.