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How Sauropods Got So Big
Richard W. Travsky writes:
> 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. "
That was discussed on-list at the time. The reference is:
Hummel, Jürgen, Carole T. Gee, Karl-Heinz Südekum, P. Martin
Sander, Gunther Nogge and Marcus Clauss. 2008. In vitro
digestibility of fern and gymnosperm foliage: implications for
sauropod feeding ecology and diet selection. Proceedings of
the Royal Society B (Published online).
Stupidly, the Royal Society seems to have reorganised its site in such
a way that its DOIs no longer work. Since the whole point of a DOI is
to be a persistent identifier, you really have to wonder what they're
thinking. I found it here, though:
The PDF is free. Enjoy!
/o ) \/ Mike Taylor <email@example.com> http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\ "Not raw -- cooked" -- Monty Python's Flying Circus.