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Re: Sauropod Energetics (Peristaltic pump)



Ken wrote: "The subject of elephants rearing up to feed constantly comes up in
discussions on tripodal stance in sauropods as if the two may be equated
(not proven by the way)."


I don't take issue with Ken's point, but my post did not use elephants as any form of biomechanical justification; rather I was discussing the energetics of rearing and feeding. If elephants can rear to feed and come out ahead on calories, than there can be little doubt that sauropods would benefit energetically as well. As to whether they frequently did is, I agree, a separate discussion. After all, sauropods would also benefit if they could scuba dive and feed on abalone beds, but they obviously didn't.

Scott Hartman
Science Director
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333

www.skeletaldrawing.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Sent: Thu, 26 Jan 2006 08:56:16 -0700
Subject: RE: Sauropod Energetics (Peristaltic pump)

The subject of elephants rearing up to feed constantly comes up in
discussions on tripodal stance in sauropods as if the two may be equated
(not proven by the way). First, elephants rear up to feed only when
conditions are such that they are forced to, meaning a drought. When any
creature gets hungry, especially under conditions of starvation, that
creature will do anything to get food. That does not mean that the
extremes used to do so are the norm. There is a big difference between
"could" a sauropod rear up on its hind legs and "did" a sauropod rear on
its hind legs. I would argue that unless conditions forced it to, that
the answer is "no."

Second, the distance between the elephants heart and its brain is
considerably less than for any tripodal sauropod. This alone suggests
that the analogy is flawed.

Third, when it comes down to it, all this speculation is untestable
anyway and is really a matter of opinion. Sauropods are dead and there
is little about their behavior that we will ever REALLY know.

Ken

Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/
Chief Preparator
Department of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205

Phone: 303-370-6392
Fax: 303-331-6492
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for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
Mountain Project:
https://scientists.dmns.org/sites/kencarpenter/default.aspx