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Re: Mesozoic biomass

On Tue, 23 Aug 2005 12:55:09 -0400 "W. F. Zimmerman, wfzimmerman.com"
<wfz@wfzimmerman.com> writes:
> Well, of course, I meant biomass at any given time.

Considering that land area changes through time (through continental
accretion, continental rifting, marine transgression, and marine
regression), as does climate and percentage of habitable land (deserts
and mountain ranges have fewer biota), how could we possibly calculate a
biomass at, say, 109 mya with any degree of accuracy?  Most of those
variables are only approximately known.  Others are unknown.

I'm not claiming that it can't be done, but I wouldn't have the foggiest
idea where to begin.

> This is another version of the "how could dinosaurs be so big" 
> question.


I'd say that biomass and megafauna size are rather far apart,

> 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).

Considering that Wilson added so many exclusions to his claim, his
statement becomes vacuous.  Ecosystems should not be studied with parts
intentionally ignored.

Guess what fossils constitute the greatest percentage, by weight and by
volume, of the late Cretaceous Hell Creek Formation?

If you answered "fossil pollen and spores", you get a gold star.