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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods
True... I think sauropods would eat almost all plants they were able
to find (if not venomous) because of their capacity to digest
low-quality food. My hypothesis is that the largest trees would tend
to supress the development of smaller plant types by interferring in
photosynthesis. Larger plants would require larger sauropods to eat
them, so if no sauropod ate them, perhaps they would overtake large
tracts of the landscape and primary biomass production available to
dinosaurs would be much smaller. If sauropods were too much
destructive of those trees, we would see they transforming their
environment, permitting other plants to grow, and then other smaller
dinosaur herbivores to be found, eating the smaller plants. Sauropods
may have helped making the savannahs in which they lived, putting the
forest into check, elephant-like. Sauropods would also likely use the
early sucession smaller plants as resource.
That is why I would expect larger, stronger or more long-necked
sauropods as correlated with taller, and correspondingly taller,
2011/2/14 Tor Bertin <email@example.com>:
> Part of the problem with this is that there's almost certainly going to be a
> substantial amount of floral biodiversity. Which plants are you focusing on
> for correlations? If, as a somewhat absurd example, you find a correlation
> between sauropod body size and flower size, is that really biologically
> meaningful? I'm thinking that such a thing would be extremely hard without
> having a better understanding of just what sauropods were really feeding on
> (and, given the amount of time sauropods were around, I suspect the answer
> would be 'all sorts of things').
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