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Re: follow-up on sauropods

On Thu, 4 Jun 1998, JAMES SUTTON wrote:
> Dwarfism is a common adaptation of large animals on islands.  Is it an
> adaptation to reduced food availability and competition therefor?  Maybe
> not, because giantism is also another feature of island animals. Komodo
> Dragon, e.g.
> >>> Richard W Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> 06/04/98 03:17pm >>>
> On Thu, 4 Jun 1998, Betty Cunningham wrote:
> > not necessarily true.  mammals also grow stunted with
> less-than-adequate
> > food.  with NO food, yes, starvation takes its toll but with less than
> > what is required the animal simply doesn't grow well and is weaker and
> > less-likley to breed than more robust specimens.
> A good and pertinent example of this would be the recently discovered
> extinct population of dwarf mammoths frmo that island off the ALaskan
> area.

Quite so, however the metabolism of the mammoth is considerably different
from that of a komodo. A viable breeding population of mammoths is
going to require a hefty food supply. The aleutian area doesn't offer the
same availability of food that the komodo's warmer climes offers.

It would be interesting to compare the case of the dwarf mammoths with
cases of giantism on other islands. I'm not sure anything can compare with
the size of a mammoth.