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Re: The Right-to-Left Shunt of Crocodilians Serves Digestion



New Scientist has a story on-line, too. 

>From the dinosaur standpoint, which I didn't have a chance to get into in the 
>story, is the potential implications for dinosaurs as "gorging" predators. 
>Crocodiles can gulp down a quarter of their body weight, but digesting it is a 
>problem with their metabolism, so they shunt blood to the digestive system to 
>help digestion. Lions can do the same, but have an easier time digesting 
>because of warm-blooded metabolism.

Birds have lost the shunt capability present in crocodiles and reptiles 
(including snakes, some of which can eat meals bigger than their body weight). 
Where did T. rex and the other supergiant predatory dinosaurs fit on the scale? 
 

At 12:16 PM +1030 2/7/08, Dann Pigdon wrote:
>A recent study suggests that shunting deoxygenated blood directly to the 
>stomach boosts stomach acid production in crocodilians ten-fold: 
>http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/full/10.1086/524150?cookieSet=1 
>The ScienceNow condensed version:
>http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2008/206/1 
>___________________________________________________________________ 
>Dann Pigdon
>GIS / Archaeologist              http://geo_cities.com/dannsdinosaurs
>Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com
>___________________________________________________________________

-- 
Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com  http://www.jeffhecht.com
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