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RE: the biggest predators



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Buckaroobwana@aol.com
>
> Greetings(that's right, I'm back...)
>     If I understand correctly, all these big meat eaters topped
> out at around
> the same size: 40-45 feet in length and around 6-8 tons in weight. I also
> understand that this is due to energy loss up the food chain limiting the
> size predators can attain. Which brings me to Charcarodon megalodon.
> 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? It would
> certainly be an
> advantage in hunting the super-giant South American sauropods...

Keep in mind that supersharks (and big plesiosaurs and sperm whales) do not
need to support their own mass, and the medium they live in allows for much
easier movement.

(A not entirely fair analogy: we can build gigantic aircraft carriers and
tankers that move fairly fast through the water, but we would not be able to
make equally fast land vehicles of the same size).

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796