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Re: T. rex was a 'slow-turning plodder'...

Michael Habib writes:
 > In modern avians, for example, the skeleton accounts for about the
 > same relative proportion of body mass as it does in mammals.  Thus,
 > despite having highly pneumatized skeletons and thin-walled bones,
 > the lightened bony architecture does not so much reduce the whole
 > mass of the animal, but rather allows for the skeleton to be
 > expanded without total mass increasing appreciably.

I remember finding this very hard to believe when I first heard it,
but it does seem to be pretty solidly demonstrated by Prange et
al. (1979).

Another amazing fact from that paper (p. 106, citing Brodkorb 1955):
the feathers of a bald eagle weigh nearly two and a half times as much
as its skeleton (677g vs. 272g).

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "Perl is superior to Visual Basic in every way imaginable" --
         Larry Rosler.


Brodkorb, Pierce (1955).  Number of feathers and weight of various
systems in a Bald Eagle.  The Wilson Bulletin 67(2):142

Prange, Henry D., John F. Anderson and Hermann Rahn.  1979.  Scaling
of Skeletal Mass to Body Mass in Birds and Mammals.
Am. Nat. 1979. Vol. 113, pp. 103-122.