[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Sauropod Necks

However, the only existing animal with a excedingly long neck is the giraffe, which uses it's neck for tree-top browsing, filling in a niche that it is not really competing with other animals for.
However, there were a greater diversity of sauropods than there are giraffes. It would seem that so many of these large types of animals competing for the same food source could be quite taxing on the environment. Herds of Diplodocus and Apatosaurs roaming the terrain either all feeding on grasses, each eating a semi-circle with a 30' radius, or all feeding on tree branches, denuding all the foliage below 50' (using the tripod idea). Seems like an ecologicaly dangerous idea. Someone mentioned that these sauropods were like the first combined harvesters. Well, I don't know how much everyone here knows about agriculture, but in order for a crop to be productive, the same ground should not be planted again and again each year. This leaches the minerals and nutrients vital to plant growth from the soil. After several years, the total vegitation output is greatly reduced from the first year's harvest.
I think that brachiosaurids are a different case than the diplodocids. It would seem that their longer front legs would exclude ground-level foraging.
AIM: TarryAGoat

From: Dinogeorge@aol.com
Reply-To: Dinogeorge@aol.com
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Sauropod Necks
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 23:16:30 EDT

In a message dated 7/10/00 8:52:51 PM EST, Buckaroobwana@aol.com writes:

<< This just remided me of what Bob Bakker once said: "Why evolve a 30 foot
neck if all feeding is done on the ground?" >>

A 30-foot neck increases foraging range without the major energy expense of
moving a 30-ton body around. Height is not as important as reach here.

________________________________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com