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Sauropods as seen by Dale Russell in "Dinosaur Attack"
After barking about it for months now in my little
weekly mail thing, I finally got home early and had a
chance to sit down and watch Dinosaur Attack! on the
Discovery Channel. It described the Paluxy tracks and
devised scenarios for what might have happened.
After seeing Jim Farlow in action, it puzzled me why
Sereno is the one chosen as one of the 50 sexiest
But I digress. I was particularly struck by the
contributions made by Dale Russell to the program. In
it Russell describes several of his hypotheses of
dinosaur metabolism and behavior, and I'd like to open
these up for comment because some of them surprised
1) Sauropods were cold blooded so slowed down at
night. No reference to "gigantothermy", which if I
understand correctly is the current preferred
alternative to endothermic sauropods.
2) A sauropod was more or less a walking meal for a
theropod. (I know, we're in dangerous behavior
territory here, but it's not we who chose to first go
there .... ) In his opinion, we would have been
"appalled" by the inevitability of a theropod attack
upon a sauropod, so certain was the outcome. A
theropod feeding event would have been ugly, rather
than the beautiful interaction of predator and prey
seen today in, say, the African savannah.
3) One of the larger adult sauropods would not have
eaten any more per day than an adult elephant.
4) Sauropods travelled along waterways in order to use
them to cool off periodically, as they were incapable
of regulating their own temperatures.
Don't get me wrong. I am a fan of Dale Russell's
wonderful stuff. I'm just curious to see if these
ideas are the current norm.
Finally, I don't want to be a stick in the mud, but is
there *any* evidence whatsoever indicating that those
theropod footprints were made substantially
simultaneously with the sauropod footprints? Any?
"Atheism: a non-prophet organization."
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