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