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Re: Sauropod Energetics (Peristaltic pumps for arteries?)

I read that article before writing my post. The article only mentions accessory hearts or a siphon mechanism, both of which I agree would not work. Peristalsis is not the same as having accessory hearts, nor does it work like a siphon. Peristalsis is what allows you to drink a large glass of beer while standing on your head. Since this type of pump has evolved for other parts of the body, I don't think it would be a stretch to imagine the muscle tissue that already exists in arteries to evolve in such a way. The following are links on the subject.



From: Guy Leahy <xrciseguy@sbcglobal.net>
To: simkoning@msn.com
CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Sauropod Energetics (Peristaltic pumps for arteries?)
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 09:33:08 -0800 (PST)

The following article discusses why such a solution to
high blood pressures in rearing sauropods is unlikely:
Proceedings: Biological Sciences
ISSN: 0962-8452 (Paper) 1471-2954 (Online)
Issue: Volume 267, Number 1455 / September 22, 2000

Pages: 1883 - 1887
DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1225
URL: Linking Options
Hearts, neck posture and metabolic intensity of
sauropod dinosaurs

Roger S. Seymour A1 and Harvey B. Lillywhite A2

A1 Department of Environmental Biology, University of
Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia
A2 Department of Zoology, University of Florida,
Gainesville, Florida 32611, USA


Hypothesized upright neck postures in sauropod
dinosaurs require systemic arterial blood pressures
reaching 700 mmHg at the heart. Recent data on
ventricular wall stress indicate that their left
ventricles would have weighed 15 times those of
similarly sized whales. Such dimensionally,
energetically and mechanically disadvantageous
ventricles were highly unlikely in an endothermic
sauropod. Accessory hearts or a siphon mechanism, with
sub-atmospheric blood pressures in the head, were also
not feasible. If the blood flow requirements of
sauropods were typical of ectotherms, the
left-ventricular blood volume and mass would have been
smaller; nevertheless, the heart would have suffered
the serious mechanical disadvantage of thick walls. It
is doubtful that any large sauropod could have raised
its neck vertically and endured high arterial blood
pressure, and it certainly could not if it had high
metabolic rates characteristic of endotherms.
Guy Leahy

--- Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:

> The problem of high blood pressure is a major
> problem for those who believe
> that sauropods could elevate their head at heights
> far greater than their
> heart. Could their carotid arteries have evolved
> into peristaltic pumps? For
> those of you who don't know what peristalsis is, its
> the process that moves
> food and liquid through your esophagus and
> intestines. Arterial walls have a
> layer of smooth muscle tissue that may have evolved
> to work as peristaltic
> pumps to push blood to the brain. If this was the
> case, wouldn't it allow
> sauropods to have highly elevated necks without the
> need for extremely high
> blood pressure?

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