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Re: Incredibly preliminary size estimate for new T. rex



At 05:31 PM 9/21/97 -0600, Jeff Martz wrote:
>    Hence the "MAY"...
        Surely.

>     You are right about the crappy sample size, but I don't think it is
        As far as I'm concerned, a sample size of one is far from "crappy".
Perhaps difficult to work with, but if my theropod collection numbered above
nought, I'd be a pretty happy camper. Not that I am upset with what I have... :)

>an unreasonable idea that a group of animals sharing a similar basic
>design living generally similar lifestyles (predation? scavenging?) might
>have a size limit beyond which pursuing that lifestyle becomes unfeasable.
        It is not such an unreasonable idea at all.  My post was,
admittedly, a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to what I percieve as the
"traditional" approach of invoking assumptions about body size and other
physiological factors in extinct animals which cannot always be tested
(although they may be falsified by the discovery of more specimens).

>     This is just speculation, but active lifestyles get more hazardous
>the more massive you get; remember the numbers from Dr. Farlow's
>"tripping T.rex" paper.      
        Dr. Farlow (et al., wasn't it?)'s work is valuable in that it
addresses such questions in a modern, thoughtful, and quantitative manner.
This is clearly what we need. I still wonder why an animal seemingly "built
to run" as it were would become so large as to endanger its life by the act
of running. Nature is truly something.
        As for the case of the "big three", we might need to look into their
ecological roles and functional anatomy (and its implications for behavior
and ecological niche) before we decide that their similar size is something
other than a trick being played upon us by the fossil record. Not that I am
saying you ignored these points.
        :)      Wagner
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jonathan R. Wagner, Dept. of Geosciences, TTU, Lubbock, TX 79409-1053
        "Here lies David St. Hubbins... and why not?"  -- Spinal Tap