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Re: Spinosaurus: The dino-daddy of all meat eaters



I am surprised to see someone infer a phylogenetic inertia from a past trend. Why do you think that trend might have continued, rather than, say stabilised or even declined?

[Caveat - philosopher here, hence ignorant of the facts, so it's a real question.]

On 14/02/2006, at 1:01 PM, Guy Leahy wrote:

It's interesting to speculate as to whether or not
tyrannosaurs may have reached Spinosaurus size if
their evolution had not been prematurely snuffed out
by the K-T extinction event.  Tyrannosaurs were
certainly heading in that direction, and had
tyrannosaurs existed another 10-20 million years,
perhaps they would have approached such sizes... :-0

Guy Leahy

--- Mike Harrison <mikevharrison@yahoo.com> wrote:


http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg18925384.600
        The dino-daddy of all meat eaters
   13 February 2006
   From New Scientist Print Edition
   Jeff Hecht
     Battle of the beasts

  THE biggest, and possibly the baddest predatory
dinosaur of them all was not the fabled
Tyrannosaurus rex, or even its slightly larger rival
Gigantosaurus, but a long-jawed, sail-backed
creature called Spinosaurus.
  An examination of some newly obtained fossils
shows that Spinosaurus stretched an impressive 17
metres from nose to tail, dwarfing its meat-eating
relatives. As well as being longer than its rivals,
Spinosaurus also had stronger arms with which to
catch its prey, unlike the puny-armed T. rex and its
ilk.
  Until 10 years ago, T. rex held the mantle of the
biggest predatory dinosaur. Of the 30 specimens
collected so far, the largest and most complete is a
fossil called Sue, kept at the Field Museum of
Natural History in Chicago. She measures 12.8 metres
long and is thought to have weighed 6.4 tonnes when
alive 67 million years ago.
  Enter Gigantosaurus, a meat-eating dinosaur that
lived in what is now Argentina. Reconstruction of a
partial skeleton indicated that it stretched 13.7
metres. It lived about 100 million years ago at
around the same time as two other huge predatory
dinosaurs were stalking other continents.

-- John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project University of Queensland - Blog: evolvethought.blogspot.com "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122