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RE: How Sauropods Got So Big

> Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 10:12:30 -0600
> From: rtravsky@uwyo.edu
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: How Sauropods Got So Big
> Longish article at
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.400-how-the-largest-dinosaurs-got-so-big.html
> 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?

 Just a thought  -  is it possible that monkeypuzzles and horsetails used to be 
more nutritional, but faced with competition from fast-regrowing flowering 
plants, took the "less edible" approach to survival?

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