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RE: Determinant of dinosaur fecundity?




On Thu, 30 Jan 1997, Nathan Myhrvold wrote:
> Given the size of
> the eggs relative to the mass of the female, even this many eggs it is a
> very low reproductive burden (it's cheap to make them), so we could
> assume that the laid them annually.

I agree with the latter assumption but not the former.  For example, how
can we know what the cost of nest defence was?  Take a broader view of
reproductive burden (beyond definition, perhaps).  Truly, the size of
a dinosaur is "of no selective value except inasmuch as it contributes to
that organisms lifelong production of successful offspring" (from Pianka,
_Evolutionary Ecology_, who was not talking about dinos but all
organisms).  These issues should be included in th3e overall costs of
reproduction.

>  On the other hand, the huge size
> of most dinosaurs suggests that many species had long lives up to 50
> years and possibly 100 or more for the large sauropods (see recents
> posts by Greg Paul), which means that adult surviorship had to be very
> high.

Agreed.