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Re: the biggest predators



> Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2001 23:09:00 EST
> From: Buckaroobwana@aol.com
> 
> Megalodon supposedly reached estimated lengths of 40-50 feet and 20+
> tons. I believe this is due to the ocean environment suspending the
> full effect of gravity, but if sauropods can reach the size of some
> whales, why couldn't a predatory dinosaur reach the size of a
> Megalodon?

Huh?  I'd have the opposite question.  My understanding is that pretty
much _all_ of the problems of large body size in terrestrial animals
are directly or indirectly attributable to weight (e.g. blood pressure
problems come from the difficulty of raising a column of blood under
atmospheric pressure.)  So what's to stop marine animals, whose body
density is pretty much identical to that of their environment, for
growing forever?  Why do whales top out at a puny two hundred-odd
tonnes?  Where are _really big_ whales?

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor -- <mirk@mail.org> -- http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/
)_v__/\  When a company calls its PC the `PC', and its DOS `DOS', it
         comes as little surprise when it calls its windows system
         `Windows'.