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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



On Tue, Feb 8, 2011 at 1:29 AM,  <vultur-10@neo.tamu.edu> wrote:
> Yes, elephant-lion is rare.
>
> But Cape buffalo are a *major* part of lion diet, IIRC more than half of some 
> lion populations' diet (Lake Manyara National Park is one, I think <60% Cape 
> buffalo) and that's something like 3-4x the lion's mass; especially since 
> lionesses do most of the hunting, and they're often like 120kg animals, not 
> 200kg. *Allosaurus amplexus* or *Saurophaganax* were larger in comparison to 
> *Diplodocus carnegii*.
>
> And what were *Allosaurus amplexus* and *Saurophaganax* --doing-- if they 
> weren't specialist sauropod, possibly big-sauropod, killers? Everything else 
> *A. fragilis* was quite big enough to deal with.
>
> But yes, the real titans were probably safe most of the time barring really 
> hungry / desperate theropods. Still, the idea you sometimes see that 'adult 
> sauropods were basically immune to predation' needs, at the least, 
> qualification.
>
> William Miller


Additionally, size alone is not really a good indicator of how
dangerous an animal is to others, be it predator or prey. I'd rather
attack a 40 t sauropod than a 1 t animal, if the 1 t beast is an
excellent baseball player and has a number of big clubs at its
disposal (stegosaurs). Getting a 10 kg weight smashed into your side
at 40 mph can really ruin your day.

So we should be very cautious about supposed predator-prey interaction
unless we have strong indications, e.g., healing bite wounds or
smashed vertebrae.
Heinrich