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Re: back to science

Betty Cunningham wrote:
> Mammals that grow rapidly are usually particularily delicate until
> growth stops.
>   Case in point: Scottish Deerhounds are big dogs, larger than Great
> Danes.
> The pups are born at about 6 oz each.  We've measured pups growing at
> about an inch a day after the 4th week.  They have to be supplemented so
> that they don't develop rickets or other dietary deseases as they are
> frequently growing too fast for their bodies to keep up.

It is actually recomended by vets that large dogs like St.Bernards are
not fed too much so that the growth rate is slown down. These are of 
course selectively bred creatures that were designed by humans who 
presumably had little knowledge of bio-mechanics. Natural selection,
over a much longer time scale, would probably perfect the method of
growing something the size of a small cat into an adult sauropod.

>On sauropods:
>   In other words, where would they find and consume the needed materials
> to grow themselves at a very high rate?
> -Betty Cunningham

We know that sauropods swallowed gizzard stones (was it Seismosaurus
that supposedly choked to death on a larger-than-usual stone?). They
could conceivably been able to distinguish limestones from other
rock types, which may have provided a source of calcium. Swallowing
small bones may also have been a possibility. I've mentioned this
all before in the list archives, but elephants will often chew on
bones, presumably to derive calcium. Then there are the bird-eating
deer... etc etc.

        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        Australian Dinosaurs: