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Re: Resources, energetics and dinosaur maximal size
McNab goes further with this, by showing that a hypothetical sauropod
with an "average lizard" metabolism (i.e. the metabolism of a sit and
wait iguanian), would "need" to grow to 330 tonnes in order to
consume the same ammount of calories as a large African elephant
(_Loxodonta africanus_). That no sauropod comes close to this
estimated size, suggests that sauropods had higher FMRs than this.
Fine so far...
If they were given a mammalian
metabolism, and concomitant FMR (as detailed in the paper) then a 56
tonne _Brachiosaurus altithorax_ would have to digest some 561,000
calories a day. This is asking a lot for plant productivity of any
A 56-tonne *Brachiosaurus altithorax*? OK, a fifteen-tonne one might be
too light despite all air sacs, given the reported existence of
ten-tonne and apparently even thirteen-tonne elephants. So let's say
twenty. OK, thirty. But fifty-six? In an individual that's not grossly
Never forget that Godzilla is right: size does matter.
It is under this assumption that McNab posits that sauropods would
> have been unlikely to have sustained a mammalian level FMR.
The body masses, too, are assumptions.