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Re: was: Gigantism in Sauropods

On 2/11/2011 10:28 PM, Raptorial Talon wrote:
"If gigantism in sauropods was primarily a*response*  to predation
pressure by theropods, then theropod predation *upon large
individuals* is the*cause*  of sauropod gigantism, correct?"

Sigh. Sorry, fail again.

Size is heritable. If the larger sauropod individuals are culled, the smaller individuals pass on their genes. Size decrease in the general population follows. Your opening if/then statement is false, and all the premises you have built upon it are therefore false.

You can admit it, and make the necessary adjustments to your mental processes, or perhaps claim you misspoke (an opportunity I already extended), but the statement as it stands is not defensible.

"Hence, I would expect to see proportionately large theropods
threatening proportionately small/medium sauropods before the
evolution of really super-huge sauropods

I know of no explicit evolutionary model or logic that would make that prediction, nor have you offered any. The model I use, which posits that selection works upon variance of heritable traits, specifically makes an entirely different prediction.

This leads me to believe you did not misspeak in your opening statement.