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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



2011/2/14 Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com>:
> On 2/14/2011 11:44 AM, Augusto Haro wrote:
>>
>> we may ask if there was some correlation between
>> maximal plant size and sympatric maximal sauropod size.
>>
>
> Good question. However, I believe that Lepidodendron and other arborescent
> lycopodophytes in the Carboniferous coal swamp forests reached heights of 30
> meters.  That may be the result of competition between plants for for
> sunlight, because all tetrapod denizens of those forests were pretty much
> belly crawlers and could exert no pressure for plants to grow that tall.
>  Maybe sauropods did exert pressures to plants to grow taller, but the
> Carboniferous forests show that such growth can occur for other reasons.
>  And why are Giant Sequoias so damn tall?
>
Interesting and true, but note the correlation does not necessarily
imply an arms race. At least I was not talking about sauropods
exerting selective pressures on trees, just following the increse in
height of the trees. As Tor said above, competition for sunlight alone
can be hypothesized as a selective pressure on trees to achieve
greater height.