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RE: Mesozoic biomass

Well, of course, I meant biomass at any given time.  

This is another version of the "how could dinosaurs be so big" question.
How could there have been large numbers of such large land creatures? If the
available biomass was greater, that gives a partial answer to the question.

I believe it was E.O. Wilson who popularized the claim that humans are
taking up a large (don't recall the #) percentage of *animal* biomass in
today's world (but distinguished from plant, insect, fish biomass).

-----Original Message-----
From: J [mailto:sappororaptor@yahoo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2005 12:48 PM
To: wfz@wfzimmerman.com
Subject: Re: Mesozoic biomass


If the age of dinosaurs spanned more than 155 million years, and the current
era only 65 million
years, you'd expect so. You said TOTAL biomass for the whole age range,
right? - as opposed to
biomass  at any given time. 

I'd go out on a limb and speculate that a given environment would only be
able to support a
certain upper limit of animal biomass, no matter how diverse and specious
that biomass is. 
I'd imagine that a desert would support the minimum animal biomass and
something like a rainforest
or grassy plain the most animal biomass - as far as land is concerned. Also 
environments/ecosystems change, so here are some considerations for
calculation of total biomass

- The proportion of land to sea (as marine biomass would be different to
terrestrial biomass) over
the two ages. If the early Mesozoic was characterized by upercontinents,
then i'd expect to see
more ocean:land ratio. I'd also guess that total marine biomass would be
more stable to
terrestrial biomass over the ages.

- The average environment/ecosystem for that time period. This would concern
terrestrail biomasses
more. Accepting that environments change, if there are more dry spells than
not, this would impact

-Other factors such as extraterrestrial induced extinctions - or the
frequency of it more exactly.
Also species genocide and environmental control (by humans)


--- "W. F. Zimmerman, wfzimmerman.com" <wfz@wfzimmerman.com> wrote:

> I have been wondering whether anyone has estimated the total amount of
> available biomass at various points in the Mesozoic era. Was the total
> amount of animal biomass in the dinosaur era in excess of the animal
> in modern times?  

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