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Re: Turtles and dinosaur predators (Re: Oviraptorids as Parrots?)

On Sun, 05 Feb 2006 16:05:39 -0800 (pst), Phil Bigelow wrote
> OTOH, if tyrannosaurs ate _Basilemys_ at infrequent random 
> opportunity, it still could have had a major impact on the 
> _Basilemys_ population. Modern mega-tortoises (e.g., Galapagos)
>  don't exactly breed like bunnies.

Their slow reproductive rate may be an adaptation to island living, since 
only a certain number of animals can survive with the limitations of space 
and resources, and predation isn't really an issue. Had such large tortoises 
evolved in a larger landscape with actual predators (as they obviously did in 
the Cretaceous), they may have popped eggs out at an astonishing rate to 
compensate. Growth rates in such a situation may also have been markedly 
quicker than those of Galapogos tortoises.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs