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Re: gigantism as liability
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:55:51PM +0100, David Marjanovic scripsit:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Graydon" <email@example.com> Sent:
> Monday, November 17, 2008 3:15 AM
>>> Perhaps by growing fast -- much faster than any turtle.
>> Cryptic colouration, body form, temporary arboreal habitat, and
>> scuttling through the undergrowth all come to mind as possibilities
>> as well.
> Arboreal habitat? For a sauropod, no matter how small, that's
> something I really can't imagine. Climbing with extremities and
> girdles like these has got to be impossible.
Some cycads look climbable by pretty much anything in the right size
range; conifers with branches down to ground level (still plenty of
those) are climbable by pretty much anything in the right size range,
they're botanical stairs. Since you have a long skinny creature snaking
through the branches does not seem implausible. I do not think baby
sauropods could get up forest-growing white ash or similar, but they
wouldn't need to do so since there wouldn't be any.
I agree that it's more probable that they'd be taking advantage of small
size and the basic sauropod bauplan to scuttle through the densest
undergrowth they could find.
>>> Also, I think sauropods were well able to put up a fight against any
>>> predator up to around their own size, considering the thumb claws
>>> and the tail and all.
>> Are there any known juvenile sauropods complete enough to tell when
>> the tail whip mechanisms or clubs formed?
> I don't think so, but to whack someone, you don't need these extras...
No, you don't, but if we had an growth series that showed the
specialized tail parts developing before sexual maturity that would be a
good clue that these were primarily defensive, rather than primarily for