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Re: Sauropod browsing energetics



2011/3/24 Scott Hartman <skeletaldrawing@gmail.com>:

> True, although to be fair they authors were attempting to hold
> resource distribution constant (and fairly plentiful).  If you have to
> walk anyways between bites, then a long neck is even less useful for
> browsing.
>
This is true if you have a mean spacing between plants longer than the
neck, but not necessarily if the mean spacing is lesser than the neck
of the long-necked animal but longer than the neck of the
short-necked.
For the productivity available to the sauropods to limit their energy
expanditure you not only need to invoke habitats with low plant
density, you may also take into account limited distributions with
great production per areas. Indeed, many sauropod species may have a
small available primary productivity, for example Rapetosaurus in its
small island. Although you may say that it would be an extreme case to
account for a selective pressure, the farther you can get from getting
to this limit, the more you can avoid extinction. And a mode would be
by reducing energy expanditure, a way in which individuals may benefit
by increasing their chances of getting a mate (as the habitat would
permit more energy-conservative dinosaurs).