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Re: Sauropod ONP...and energetics

On 1/23/06, Guy Leahy <xrciseguy@sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> Playing Devil's Advocate for a moment, ostriches,
> rheas and emus all have long necks, and all are
> primarily grazers... :-)

True, but they don't typically hold their necks in a horizontal
position, since, without long tails, they'd tip right over.

> In addition, cassowary diets
> consist in large part of fruit which has fallen to the
> forest floor.  Even if sauropods fed primarily from
> shoulder height, this would still mean foraging at 2-3
> meters above ground level, with some tall-shouldered
> taxa(brachiosaurs) feeding at still higher levels.

Here's a thought: the greenest parts of a plant are generally at the
top, right (where access to sunlight is unobstructed)? Thick-trunked,
firmly-rooted plants growing in a very dense configuration could
create a barrier for large animals that are unable to fit between the
plants. Solution 1 would be for the animals to uproot the plants that
are in their way, but this requires a lot of energy. Solution 2: the
animals grow really long necks so they can reach out over the
already-browsed trunks in their way and get at the greenery.

Well, just a thought, anyway.
Mike Keesey
The Dinosauricon: http://dino.lm.com
Parry & Carney: http://parryandcarney.com