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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.
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.
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