Hence, they are of great interest in understanding the evolution of gigantism and the biophysical constraints acting upon terrestrial life (Clauss ;Sander et al. The unique gigantism of sauropod dinosaurs was made possible by a high basal . in Amniote Paleobiology: Perspectives on the Evolution of Mammals, Birds. Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs reports on the latest results from Sauropod Biology and the Evolution of Gigantism: What Do We Know?.

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Resource availability has long been considered important in island habitats Palkovacs, but, as suggested by the maximum body mass-land area relationship of Burness et al. In a paper, Rothschild and Molnar reasoned that if sauropods had adopted a bipedal posture at thd, there would be evidence of stress fractures in the forelimb ‘hands’.

Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism.

While some Mesozoic plants were both highly nutritious and abundant, there is no evidence from fermentation experiments to explain sauropod gigantism through more nutritious food. This seemingly coherent picture faces a few challenges, however, and raises a few questions.

This alone suggests that there was little parental care, and zauropod is ample other evidence against parental care Sander et al. Gigantism, dwarfism, and Cope’s rule: Having considered all this, we need to return to their extraordinary size or gigantism.

Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism

Biological consequences of Mesozoic atmospheres: The front feet of sauropods were very dissimilar from those of modern large quadrupeds, such as elephants. Two features of the avian lung make this possible: An added benefit of the bird lung is that it could have solved the overheating problem of sauropods by providing internal heat exchange surfaces, the animal cooling itself simply by breathing, as is known from living birds.


While disadvantageous to mammals because of their abrasiveness on chewing teeth, sauropods could extensively have relied on this resource because of their lack of mastication.

Science 10 October There is no evidence, however, that resource availability and global physicochemical parameters were different enough in the Mesozoic to have led to sauropod gigantism. With body mass increase driven by the selective advantages of large body size, animal lineages will increase in body size until they reach the limit determined by the interplay of bauplan, biology, and resource availability.

The theory of island biogeography. Texas Christian University Press; A year later, when Owen coined the name Dinosauriahe did not include Cetiosaurus and Cardiodon in that group.

Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs

Another important part of the evoluiton budget of an animal is taken up by reproduction, albeit with a more episodic energy expenditure. The data for O 2 and CO 2 levels are from Ward Comparison of maximum body size in the different groups of land-living animals.

Also, Taylor et al. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

A case in point is the slow energy release pattern observed for Araucaria as discussed above Hummel et al. Although putative sauropod coprolites containing grass phytoliths and many other plant remains have been described from the latest Cretaceous of India Ghosh et al.

veolution However, protein content of Araucaria was insufficient for this plant to have served as the sole food source of a growing sauropod Hummel et al. Sauropod dinosaurs exclusively fed on plant matter, and you could say they were the most successful of all herbivores.

Among other possibly different boundary conditions, atmospheric oxygen levels Hengst et al. Although fibrolamellar bone has repeatedly been described in recent wild alligators with moderate growth rates Chinsamy-Turan, ; Tumarkin-Deratzian,this has not been documented in sufficient detail, such as high-magnification photomicrographs and polarized light images, to substantiate these claims.


Gigantism — Steinmann-Institut für Geologie, Mineralogie und Paläontologie

Diversity patterns amongst herbivorous dinosaurs and plants during the Cretaceous: The feet probably bore a soft heel pad, like in modern elephants, as thd by the extensive sauropod footprint record.

Tne the most conspicuous features of the sauropod bauplan, the very long neck, was the first key innovation in the evolution of gigantism. The fossil record suggests that the optimization of the forelimb towards a fully erect, parasagittally-swinging column was not an exaptation that allowed gigantism, but evolved in parallel Remes,and that this parallel evolution was necessary for sauropods to attain a multi-tonne body mass.

The study of the upper limit of body size must address extrinsic as well as intrinsic factors, and it must be determined whether this limit is set by the bauplan of the organisms or by physical and saudopod constraints imposed by the environment.

As putative sauropod gastric contents Brown, ; Stokes, ; Bird, are no longer tenable Ash, ; Sander et al. Carbonized skin remains of diplodocid sauropods indicates that their skin was covered by a mosaic pattern of dlnosaurs scales Czerkas, ; Ayer,and the same was obviously also true for other sauropods Mantell, ; Upchurch, ; Rich et al.