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

A Sauropod named Maverick



I was watching "Nature" last night. It was about giraffes. Of course, the usual 
elevated blood pressure, large heart, and valved veins and arteries with a high 
elasticity were mentioned in the discussion of why giraffes don't pass out. 
However, there was something else that I never thought of, though with my Air 
Force flying experience I should have... The hide of a giraffe is almost 2 
inches thick and very tight around its body. It works like the anti-gravity 
suit, or flight suit, that combat pilots wear, the sole purpose being to 
prevent pilot blackout from high acceleration and G-force. (Speaking from 
experience, there is a marked difference between having the G-suit and not 
having the G-suit when they spin you in that bloody RCAF Human Centrifuge.) 
However, G-suits for non-aviation purposes are also used to treat shock. Going 
along with the often used analogy, and even direct comparison, of the giraffe 
to the brachiosaur, I'm finding this sort of physiological adaptation
 harnessed by giraffes as yet another appealing idea that could be applied to 
that pesky sauropod neck problem which continues to plagues us so. (At this 
time, I don't recall ever having read about it in this context.) There are 
other ramifications, of course, besides furthering the physiological 
possibilities of suprahorizontal necks, particularly when it comes to a 
restoration of sauropods with saggy, elephantine skin.

Oh, the program also revealed for the first time the use of infrasound by 
giraffes. Given that all of your larger mammals apparently utilize some form of 
communication that isn't always audible to the naked ear (human anyway), I 
think that the speculation for your large dinosaurs (and marine reptiles for 
that matter; think mating alligators at least) also having these same sort of 
abilities looks like a promising one (social structure, if present at all, 
would be a factor to consider). That being said, does anyone know if studies 
have been done on rhinos in this regard? I don't know of any.

Kris
http://hometown.aol.com/Saurierlagen/Paleo-Photography.html