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Re: New Papers in Manhattan
Abstract: "Sauropod dinosaurs, the dominant herbivores throughout the
Jurassic, challenge general rules of large vertebrate herbivory. With
body weights surpassing those of any other megaherbivore, they relied
almost exclusively on pre-angiosperm plants such as gymnosperms, ferns and
fern allies as food sources, plant groups that are generally believed to
be of very low nutritional quality. However, the nutritive value of these
taxa is virtually unknown
LOL! Yet another case where people have simply believed something for
generations without ever testing it! :-D I wonder how many more such
assumptions there are out there.
"The worst math is no math at all."
-- Mark Chu-Carroll http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath
Using a feed evaluation test for extant herbivores, we show that the
energy content of horsetails and of certain conifers and ferns is at a
level comparable to extant browse.
Based on our experimental results, plants such as _Equisetum_,
_Araucaria_, _Ginkgo_ and _Angiopteris_ would have formed a major part of
sauropod diets, while cycads, tree ferns and podocarp conifers would have
been poor sources of energy. Energy-rich but slow-fermenting _Araucaria_,
which was globally distributed in the Jurassic, was probably targeted by
giant, high-browsing sauropods with their presumably very long ingesta
Makes a lot of sense...
The morphological basis of the arm-to-wing transition. J. Hand Surg.
<Spock voice>Fascinating.</Spock voice>