[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Where are the Big Fish?



Dear DML,

If I can go off on a semi-nondinosaurian tangent for a moment, I would
like to know where are all the big swimmers in the fossil record?  It
seems odd that in the 300+ million years of vert evolution, we know of
no swimmer larger than the extant whales, especially given that
terrestrial life has grown so very much bigger in the past.

It's a Well Known Fact that it's much easier to be big in water than
on land, right?  Then how is it that the largest prehistoric swimmers
we know of are the big pliosaurs (70 tons?) and we have heavier
sauropods than that?

And -- related -- does anyone have any ideas where there has never
been (to my knowledge) a really big fish?  I mean, pah, whale sharks?
Don't make me laugh!  Is there something about the fishy body-plan
that makes them unscaleable past thirty tons or so?

Thanks as always,

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor   <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>   www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "`start' must be between 1 and approximately 65535" --
         Microsoft Visual Basic documentation for the InStr() function.