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Re: New paper on pre-Archaeopteryx coelurosaurian dinosaurs



Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:

>  When dealing with something as abstract as "hip height," or "burrowing" 
> habits, one must allow themselves a lot of leeway to be totally and utterly 
> wrong. In this
>  case, it's because relative hip height is relative itself to activity and 
> posture, and a host of other variables that assume perfect understanding of 
> relative time in a given
>  ecology, such as how laden with food or pre-nesting gravidity the given 
> animal is, or whether this has any impact.  I just find it amusing to see 
> people debating about
>  hip height by comparing limb segment lengths, when various other factors in 
> their biology (as in cartilage extent and shape, as well as degree of 
> cartilage in each
>  limb segment length, and/or stance configuration to projected body-mass/cog, 
> as recently detailed by Holliday et al and of course the paper cited below by 
> Dr.
>  Baeker.  It's not that it is not productive to ask the question (it is, of 
> course it is), but that there is a reasonable conclusion with necessary but 
> missing data involved in
>  the equation that is not used to reach said conclusion.


Yep, the claim is dubious.  I'll fess up and say that I was kind of
just stirring things up when I called _Gigantoraptor_ "the largest
known theropod".


Nevertheless, _Gigantoraptor_ is a BIG theropod.  You have to wonder
what it was with Late Cretaceous Mongolia that prompted the emergence
of such massive theropods.  More importantly, forms like
_Therizinosaurus_, _Deinocheirus_, _Gigantoraptor_ were probably
non-carnivorous.


If these big-ass coelurosaurs were browsing herbivores, what factors
allowed them to occupy these large-bodied-herbivore niches in the
first place?  Why weren't the sauropods doing it instead?  After all,
the sauropods had been feeding this way since the Late Triassic, and
they let themselves get shoved aside by some opportunistic
johnnies-come-lately.  Sauropods are slackers, that's what I think!



Cheers

Tim