[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
How Sauropods Got So Big
Longish article at
Some interesting and new - to me - collected bits. Such as
" The nutrients from this huge unchewed meal would have been extracted by
lengthy microbial fermentation inside their huge torsos. That, however,
posed yet another problem. As flowering plants did not evolve until late
in the sauropods' reign, their diet was limited to plants such as monkey
puzzles, ginkgos and horsetails. According to animal nutritionist Jrgen
Hummel at the University of Bonn, it is commonly believed that such fodder
is of exceptionally low nutritional quality. How did the sauropods manage
to survive on this restricted diet?
Hummel set about trying to find out. In 2008, he simulated dinosaur
digestion by placing samples of these primitive plants among the gut
microbes of sheep. It turns out that many of the plants were more
nutritious than they had been given credit for. "When you give the ancient
plants enough time, they are digested quite reasonably. A long retention
time in the digestive tract of a sauropod would have been the solution,"
he says. "