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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



Sorry, for not being clear: the hypothesized causal link would be that
the dinosaur is able to consume the canopy of the tallest (and
consequently largest) tree, if not, the forests formed by the said
tree would reduce the primary production available for the herbivorous
dinosaur needs.

2011/2/14 Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com>:
> 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,
> trees.
>
> 2011/2/14 Tor Bertin <nightimeshadow@yahoo.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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>