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Re: New refs (medium)



Adam Britton (abritton@wmi.com.au) wrote:

<Given variation in food availability, croc biogeography would be
substantially different if they were endothermic. They might also not have
survived the K-T event, but obviously we have no evidence of that.>

  And this seems to be the trick about sauropods. As an endothermic animal
at roughly 40 tonnes, the amount of food needed to be consumed to sustain
an endothermic mean similar to an elephant or primitive placental would be
excessively huge per hour, per day. On the other hand, the amount needed
to sustain a lower, ectothermic or non-constant poekilothermic physiology
would be almost half, if not so or less, the amount of food an endotherm
would need. Ecologically speaking, this would seem to be the way to go if
one wanted to make a herd of sauropod not entirely strip the landscape of
viable vegetation. Farlow's chaper in Thomas and Olson, 1990 (eds.) goes
into this discussion quite thouroughly, and though dated, no one has yet
offered how a sauropod can be reasonably sustained by an ecosystem apart
from constant migration (and perhaps leading to why sauropods make bad
mothers, they'd kill the environment just after a few weeks, not to
mention a herd of these).

  Farlow, J. O. 1980. Predator/prey biomass ratios, community food webs
and dinosaur physiology. pg 55-83 _in_ Thomas, R. D. K., and Olson, E. C.
(eds.). _A Cold Look at the Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs_. (Westview Press,
[Boulder].)

  Cheers,

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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