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Re: ... vs energy deficient gigantothermy (boo hiss)




On Mon, 7 May 2001, R. Irmis wrote:

> First of all, there are large herbivores that would indeed be big enough for
> a large predator...ie Elephants.

Archosaurs don't like the flavor of elephant meat--they're waiting for a
better tasting meat before they move into the large size niche again.

>  I think the reason for lack of gigantic
> mammals, predatory or not, is that as mammals get larger, they produce
> significantly less offspring per year.

With respect, I think you have this backwards.  Elephants _could_ produce
a litter of 12 much smaller infants (right?).  But it is likely that a
single heavily invested baby pays off reproductive dividends.
I mean, elephant babys usually survive, hadrosaur babies probably usually
did not.

> Janis, Christine M. and Matthew Carrano. 1992. Scaling of reproductive
> turnover in archosaurs and mammals: why are large terrestrial mammals so
> rare?. Annales Zoologici Fennici 28(3-4): 201-216

Looks like a great ref. Thanks.
John Bois.