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Re: How Sauropods Got So Big

David Marjanovic wrote:

> Actually, you have it backwards.
> How were the sauropods even capable of eating their
> vegetables?
> Because they were so big!
> :-) 

Ah, but then again... it's only because they were capable of eating plant 
fodder that sauropods were able to achieve such large body sizes.  For 
sauropods and other landlubbers, it's only plants that can offer such a readily 
accessible and ubiquitous source of biomass.  You can't get to the size of an 
_Argentinosaurus_ (or even an _Apatosaurus_) by eating flesh, or even 
invertebrates.  Not on land, anyway.

Of course, some terrestrial carnivores did get big.  Some were very big, like 
the largest carnosaurs and tyrannosaurs.  But they probably only got that big 
by targeting really big herbivores - like sauropods or hadrosaurs.  (Even 
_Spinosaurus_ probably preyed on sauropods, like _Paralititan_ or 
_Aegyptosaurus_; I doubt it could've gotten so big by feeding exclusively on 
fish.)  So it was sauropods which allowed theropods to get bigger, by serving 
as very large, mobile pools of protein.  Which gets me back to my original 
point.  :-)