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Re: sauropod breeding

On Sun, Mar 12, 2006 at 11:54:21PM +0100, David Marjanovic scripsit:
> >Well, you can probably assume highly cryptic colouring and a deeply
> >skittish nature,
> A skittish nature at the same time as an inability to run? Is that of
> much use? :-/

Sure -- you don't have to be wandering blythely out of cover, after all.

Little sauropods are a relatively low, relatively snakey shape; they'd
do very well at sneaking through the undergrowth.  If they were
primarily nocturnal at that time of their lives -- the proportionately
large eyes would help with that -- that would help, too.

> >but consider sea turtles --
> Yes, but they are armored and can swim at reasonable speeds.

Not all that _well_ armored, and nothing like the speeds the things that
eat them when they're small can swim at.

> >Also note that the whip-tail sauropods and mace-tail sauropods
> >probably have these defensive measures from a small size, and that
> >they'd apply to equivalently sized predators just fine.  So
> >Ornithosteles is fine with the hatchlings, and maybe even the
> >yearlings, but has some serious cost-benefit concerns thereafter.
> Imaginable, but that's where, say, juvenile carnosaurs may start... 

Sure, but that's also where the live mass curve gets interesting.  As
long as there are significant dips in the supply, the predator
population limit is constrained to be less than a population able to eat
all the available juveniles, provided the sauropod population is the
principal food supply.