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Re: Respiratory Conchae
One other point that needs to be raised about RT research: We really are
not sure how strong the correlation between RTs and endothermy should be in
non-mammals. RTs are all about water conservation, and while water
conservation is obviously important to all animals, it is particularily
important in mammals. I'm sure most of the listers already know about the
uric acid vs. urea dicotomy, so rather than pissing into the wind (sorry,
couldn't resist) on that subject, I'll point out the results: Birds, often
one with substantially higher BMRs than eutherian mammals, usually have much
smaller and simpler RTs than said mammals. Despite this rather obvious fact
(you can see examples in many papers by Ruben et al.), no one has bothered
to test the effect of RT loss or damage on avians. As a result we can't
quantify the importance of RTs in non-mammals. We don't even know how RT
surface area scales (if it does) animal mass. We don't really know piss
about RTs in the larger evolutionary view.
RTs may be important in non-mammals, since it appears that many
dinosaurs may have had attachments for RTs or their equivalents. But how
important, no one can really say for now.
Just my two cents...
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