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Dinosaur size and our own growth


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#16    Roj47

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:36 PM

I guess the most informative evidence that would be presented would be cranium capacity of fossils.

I have to disagree with you that dinosaurs could have left intelligent designs, or whatever behind, but realise that I purely base my opinion on years of programmes on TV, books etc....

Personally I can't comprehend anything other than humans using intelligence as we do, but your opinion is valid, whether I agree or not.


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#17    Sun Raven

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 10:12 PM

I think that the only thing that has to grow is our brain.............................but that is mother nature's choice. innocent.gif

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#18    fantazum

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Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:50 PM

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This may be a bit basic, but I can not find anything particularly conclusive on the net.

What was it that actually allowed certain dinosaurs to grow to immense sizes. Agreed there is the whale by todays standard, but was it oxygen levels? available food? purely time available to evolve? or a combination of these and other elements.

Should humans be able to hold the Earth for 135 million years. Would you expect us to grow to larger sizes as to some extent we are now, or as a genus are we limited to our growth potential?

regards


Humans are not getting bigger. Our average height has hardly changed in the last 10,000 years. Better nutrition combined with a more sedentary lifestyle is making us fatter but not  much taller which rather contradicts the theory that size is controlled by environment and food availability.
Why some species of Dinosaurs reached gigantic sizes is still a mystery. Increased oxygen levels is most frequently cited but research has proven that for much of the Jurassic period C02 levels were higher than they are now and anyway, increased oxygen levels may have caused some increase in size but not gigantism. The simple physical problems a creature weighing in excess of 70 tons would experience as it tried to move over the ground would have been considerable. Huge areas of land too soft for it to traverse would have been denied to it. There are numerous other physiological problems which come into play too but I wont get into them here.
Environment is also cited but again this contradicts recent research which has shown that temperatures were much higher during the Jurassic which means that the climate may not have allowed the formation of ice at the poles. This excess water would have covered much of the earth's land surface thus reducing the size of habitat for the Dinosaurs.
It is now believed that Dinosaurs were the most successful of the larger lifeforms ever to have lived on this planet and they evolved over a period of 150 million years but one would not have expected them to achieve such gigantic sizes as evolution usually strikes a balance between all living things and the ability of the environment to support them. This essential law didnt apply to the Dinosaurs for reasons we presently cannot explain.
The largest Dinosaurs may have grown to weights exceeding 100 tons and it is believed that they existed in their tens of thousands and that they herded together. Creatures of such size would have required a lush foliage rich environment of immense size to support them which means a world much larger than at present but of course, as I have said, the land area would actually have been reduced thru higher sea levels.


#19    Crazy Canuck

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 12:27 AM

When it comes to humans and evolution all bets are now off there is know real way to predict what will happen(now more than ever because of technology), that much is obvious

We can not rely on data from the last 10000 years because of our enviroment has completely changed survival to sexual maturity and final reproduction is no longer an issue. We are getting heavier because of seditary lifestyles we are not evolving in that direction.

Lets assume that these things happen women are encouraged more and more to work....less and less have children,  these children will come from women that have a stronger desire to have children(to deny a genetic tendancy towards certain behaviour is foolish...i work with horses and know that a colt that has never had any of the same hanlders and never come in contact with his stallion will behave similarly many but not all of his siblings and half siblings) even though many women who work do have children they have them later (25 years to first child vs 35 would be almost 30% faster generations=faster growth within a population.
   now lets work with some modern statistics a 6' man is 50% more likely to be married than a 5'8 man(unsure of where it came from or its accuracy... feel free to refute but for the purpose of this i am going to assume it is true and remains true) this indicates a sexual preference by women towards taller men....there is probably a limit

     so if the assumptions made(yes there are many of them) stay true in a couple of 100 years we will be taller and likely have even more hormonally charged females that may even become less intellegent, this may occur because less intellegent (book smart... there are many poepel i know that could never calculate the area of a square but can solve problems in an engine for example have never taken a class i realize a certain amount is exposure)

so i think we may become taller, dummer and more hormonal...not exactly an optimistic outlook... that is for peacefull future
If we have frequent major consctriptions(drafts)....the only ones to evade it are flatfoots and poor vision....we will also become less athletic
and gain excellently poor vision....although like i said from here on in every 100 years is going to have nothing in common with the previous 100


#20    dantheman2435

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 01:36 AM

I don't belive we will get severly larger, Mabey a few inches.


#21    fantazum

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 07:59 PM

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A combination of those factors, plus a relatively stable climate.  Also, given stable conditions and adequate food supplies, herbivores tend to grow bigger as a defence against carnivores.  Who then grow bigger in order to be able to kill the bigger herbivores.  And so on.  Eventually a limit is reached, or else climate changes change the rules of the game.
On average we're several inches taller and rather a lot of pounds heavier than 100 years ago.  I doubt we'll end up being 20ft tall though.   20ft round the waist maybe?  unsure.gif


"herbivores tend to grow bigger as a defence against carnivores. Who then grow bigger in order to be able to kill the bigger herbivores. And so on. Eventually a limit is reached, or else climate changes change the rules of the game."

If thats the case then how come lions never grew in size to match their prey? Ive never read such utter nonsense.


#22    Raptor

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Posted 20 December 2006 - 08:42 PM

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"herbivores tend to grow bigger as a defence against carnivores. Who then grow bigger in order to be able to kill the bigger herbivores. And so on. Eventually a limit is reached, or else climate changes change the rules of the game."

If thats the case then how come lions never grew in size to match their prey? Ive never read such utter nonsense.


Uh...right, unless you've seen any lions hunting dinosaurs lately, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Lions do match the size of their prey.


#23    fantazum

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 07:11 PM

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Uh...right, unless you've seen any lions hunting dinosaurs lately, I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Lions do match the size of their prey.

when was the last time you saw a lion the same size as an elephant or a giraffe or a rhino , **EDIT**

**drop the personal insults, Fantazum

Edited by aquatus1, 22 December 2006 - 07:18 PM.


#24    aquatus1

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Posted 22 December 2006 - 07:24 PM

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when was the last time you saw a lion the same size as an elephant or a giraffe or a rhino ,



Incidentally, neither elephants, nor giraffes, nor rhinos, are considered prey by lions.

There was, however, a time when mega-fauna was hunted by large predatory cats, the most famous of which would be the saber-toothed tiger.  As massive as the animals it called prey, it could use it's body weight to bowl over it's equally large prey as it sunk it's fangs in deep.  It was, unfortunately, a victim of its own success.  As the climate changed, and the numbers of its prey dwindled, the cats rapidly ran out of their regular massive meat, and had to chase after other game, which was small, light, and fleet of foot, easily able to outrun the heavy tigers.  It's evolutionary advantage, once powerful enough to place it as the top predator in the food chain, now became a liability, and the big cats went extinct, no longer able to hunt their smaller, more elusive prey.


#25    Raptor

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Posted 23 December 2006 - 09:29 PM

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when was the last time you saw a lion the same size as an elephant or a giraffe or a rhino , **EDIT**

**drop the personal insults, Fantazum


Lions would rarely prey on any of those animals. The vast majority of their prey are animals such as gazelle, wildebeest etc.

Animals can adapt lots of characteristics to efficiently hunt their prey, matching size is definetely one of them.

Edited by Raptor X7, 23 December 2006 - 09:32 PM.


#26    frogfish

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 10:14 PM

Breakdown of prey in the Kalahari
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Eland & Lion size comparison:
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#27    fantazum

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:36 PM

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Breakdown of prey in the Kalahari
linked-image

Eland & Lion size comparison:
linked-image


take a lot at the picture again....now look even closer. The predator is attacking the prey from the rear - which tells you what? well if you think about it for more than ten seconds it tells you that the lion is smarter than its prey. It means the lion has the intelligence to stalk its prey first, assess the best angle of attack, wait for the opportune moment, conserve its strength for the chase.....then attack!!
Which is why most predators dont have to equal their prey in size - or even in strength.They are just smarter.
And yes -Lions do consider Elephants viable prey and they hunt and kill them regularly.


#28    capeo

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 08:59 PM

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And yes -Lions do consider Elephants viable prey and they hunt and kill them regularly.


They most certainly do not.  Lions stay far out of the way of elephants as does everything else in Africa.  They may, if desperate, attack a young elephant but this exceedingly rare as female elephants are superbly protective parents.  Adult elephants have no natural predators aside from humans.  Also, if you took a moment to look at the chart Frogfish posted you'd see the distribution of lion prey.

As for predators evolving larger size to keep pace with larger prey, that's absolutely well accepted.  This doesn't mean the predator evolves as big as it's prey but it must be sufficiently large to kill it.




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#29    capeo

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:39 PM

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Why some species of Dinosaurs reached gigantic sizes is still a mystery. Increased oxygen levels is most frequently cited but research has proven that for much of the Jurassic period C02 levels were higher than they are now and anyway, increased oxygen levels may have caused some increase in size but not gigantism. The simple physical problems a creature weighing in excess of 70 tons would experience as it tried to move over the ground would have been considerable. Huge areas of land too soft for it to traverse would have been denied to it. There are numerous other physiological problems which come into play too but I wont get into them here.


You're forgetting a major factor, and that's weight distribution.  Sauropods walked with their legs directly below their bodies with a long massive tail outstretched and had large flat feet akin to an elephants.  With a similar gait as an elephant the weight distribution would be just fine for walking through marsh land just as elephants have no problem waking through mud.  No matter what the weight so long as there is sufficient area to distribute you can get around it.  Take a pyramid for example, if you could concievably turn it upside down and balance it on its point it would drive itself into the ground.  Sat on its base, it has no problem.  Physiologically there is no issue with sauropods.  Paleontologists estimate the weights based on how much weight the bones could handle.

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Environment is also cited but again this contradicts recent research which has shown that temperatures were much higher during the Jurassic which means that the climate may not have allowed the formation of ice at the poles. This excess water would have covered much of the earth's land surface thus reducing the size of habitat for the Dinosaurs.


Even with poles melted the water wouldn't have close to covering most of earth land surface.  I can find you the actual numbers.

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It is now believed that Dinosaurs were the most successful of the larger lifeforms ever to have lived on this planet and they evolved over a period of 150 million years but one would not have expected them to achieve such gigantic sizes as evolution usually strikes a balance between all living things and the ability of the environment to support them. This essential law didnt apply to the Dinosaurs for reasons we presently cannot explain.
The largest Dinosaurs may have grown to weights exceeding 100 tons and it is believed that they existed in their tens of thousands and that they herded together. Creatures of such size would have required a lush foliage rich environment of immense size to support them which means a world much larger than at present but of course, as I have said, the land area would actually have been reduced thru higher sea levels.


This period was exceeding lush, far more so than any period since, and there was no issue with food.  The abundance of food was a primary factor in their size.


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#30    Mattshark

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 09:55 PM

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They most certainly do not.  Lions stay far out of the way of elephants as does everything else in Africa.  They may, if desperate, attack a young elephant but this exceedingly rare as female elephants are superbly protective parents.  Adult elephants have no natural predators aside from humans.  Also, if you took a moment to look at the chart Frogfish posted you'd see the distribution of lion prey.

As for predators evolving larger size to keep pace with larger prey, that's absolutely well accepted.  This doesn't mean the predator evolves as big as it's prey but it must be sufficiently large to kill it.

Actually the BBC series Planet Earth showed lions attacking a fully grown elephant at night and killing and eating it.

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