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Animatonic dinosaur factory inquiry: why dinosaurs have such a large size?

Animatonic dinosaur factory inquiry: why dinosaurs have such a large size?

About 150 million years ago, the ruler of the earth is a dinosaur, and the protagonist is sauropod dinosaur.Sauropod dinosaur is a kind of plant-eating dinosaur, the biggest more than 30 meters in length and a long neck and tail, thick limb holds up as a barrel body, the family includes the liang dragon, brachiosaurus, brontosaurus.
The contradiction of natural selection
For a long time, biologists to sauropods unprecedented enormous full of confusion.How do they have such a large size?Why not other land animals on the earth is so “tonnage”?Now, the African elephant is the biggest land animals on earth, but in 6 tons in weight.Even in the dinosaur family, sauropods also belongs to the heavyweights.Adult tyrannosaurus rex only 7 tons of weight, and the biggest sauropods, known as the giant dragon in shandong China dinosaur also however 16 tons in weight.
Paleontologist at the university of Bonn, Germany, Martin Sander (Martin Sander) before his results were announced, has been no convincing answer these questions.Thornton said: “on the issue of dinosaurs shape evolution, we now theory organized more clearly.”Over the past six years, sander leading an international team of scientists has been cracked sauropods mystery.Their results show that the sauropod dinosaur has many unique biological characteristics, in these characteristics, under the joint action of them have a unique bulk.
Thornton’s research from the 19th century paleontologist Edward DE link, scientific observations.Popular science noticed, an animal’s body with the development of evolutionary increases, this theory is called “popular science law.”Beijing institute of vertebrate paleontology and paleoanthropology science law expert David horney (David Hone) think that size has many evolutionary advantage.He explained: “they are not easy to become a prey, looking for food or a mate have more advantages than the competition. We also know that large animals in general are more likely to encounter the danger of extinction.”
Face more challenges
Compared with the body of small animals, large animals to eat more, propagation speed is more slow, once in trouble or food shortage, will face bigger problems.America’s brown university paleontologist Christine Janice (Christine Janis) said: “like huge rhino body large mammals, they in the fossil record history is shorter, and the body is petite mammals in the fossil record is longer.”So, on the one hand, natural selection has prompted the longer the animal body, the greater the, on the other hand, animal punished because of on the road.This kind of balance between opposing forces avoid most of land animals more than 10 tons of weight.
Big also bring other problems.How do they support his huge body?Body needs food and oxygen and come from?Sauropods by its unique way to overcome the challenge of all of the above.Sauropods first appeared in about 220 million years ago, quickly grew up and became a monster.The earliest known sauropod dinosaur is 210 million years ago, 15 tons of Ethan dragon.
In the 1990 s, Janice’s study found that sauropods body huge is an important factor in its unique way of breeding.As with all the dinosaurs, sauropod dinosaur eggs, too.Janice explained: “the bigger mammals, fewer offspring. However, the large dinosaurs may have a lot of eggs and larvae. At the same time continues to grow, although dinosaur size is the number of young and did not decrease.”
Similar to the growth of the rings
Elephants give birth to a cub every four years, while at the same time, can play hundreds of dinosaur eggs.So the sauropod dinosaur can eliminate because its body is one of the risk of large.Quantity is sauropod dinosaur in the face of the crisis, compared to the large mammals has the potential to rebound faster.This thesis support Janice evidence comes from the study of dinosaur egg fossils.Sauropods left detailed records of astonishing dinosaur eggs and nest, sometimes with preserved embryos.Dinosaur eggs generally have an ostrich egg size, a family of eight eggs.
Sauropod dinosaur nests did not show signs of parental care, which further enhances the ability of adult sauropods breed more offspring.Lay eggs and lack of parental care, however, cannot completely explain lay eggs and don’t take care of the young.Hence, sander and from other aspects to further reveal the mystery.He found that gigantic seems to make the sauropod dinosaurs grow faster.To understand the dinosaur growth, Thornton team examined using microscope to dinosaur bones.
On most dinosaur bones are similar to the growth of tree rings line (growth line).According to Thornton finally came to the conclusion, the metabolism of sauropods quickly, so they can get large size relatively quickly.He said: “no other types of dinosaurs sauropods such a high growth rate.”Thornton’s team to a weighed 30 tons, called dragon horse gate creek Asia sauropods are studied, the results show that this rapid growth can be converted into amazing weight gain.Above the horse gate creek dragon weight can increase at most 2 tons a year.In contrast, the African elephant but increase by 200 kg a year.
Large size of dinosaurs
Like the birds complex alveoli
Fast growth, of course, there are many benefits, but once the animal has a huge body, how they cope with the needs of the body and way of life?Sauropods are all accord with the same basic body structure: long neck, small head, large size is like casks, stout legs.Thornton and other researchers think that sauropods unique body structure is the important reason for its bulk.
In the 1980 s, jay, a professor at the university of Helsinki, Finland, Mr Buchanan (overseeing Hokkanen) solved the problem – how to support and move the bulk.Through the analysis of the bone and muscle strength of large animals, Mr Buchanan, found that even the largest sauropods, their body is far from theoretical limit.He said: “other dinosaur brachiosaurus body at least several times, but still walk on land.”So, although large sauropods heavy is not flexible, but this did not inhibit them to a bigger body development.
A related problem is how large sauropod dinosaurs get enough oxygen.In 2003, the United States, Oklahoma, Sam Nobel museum of natural history in Matthew weddell (Mathew Wedel) cracked the mystery.Weddell found that sauropods lung like birds.Birds respiratory efficiency than mammals.Sauropods inhale, the air is full of pulmonary alveoli of in vitro and in vivo.That is to say, sauropods the fresh air in the lungs can flow freely, each breath for the amount of oxygen is 2.5 times that of mammals.Weddell said: “sauropods have alveolar system, and they like birds of the alveolar complex.”
The age of the dinosaurs of the elite
Sauropods unique body structure is explained how the 80 – ton monster can get enough food.In the largest land animals on earth today are herbivorous animal, eat into a large number of plants survival without nutrition.The asked herbivorous animals kept eating.The elephant has 18 hours a day, for example, in eating, consume 200 kg of plants every day.In accordance with the standards of these large herbivores, sauropods swallowed to eat one day must be at least one ton of plants, how can they do this?
Thornton found that sauropods like the giraffe’s neck and head played a key role.Spinal light can let sauropods neck longer, increase the range of prey.Thus, sauropod dinosaurs stood still, their necks can feed up and down or so, thereby saving the energy.In addition, sauropods not chew food, but with the hook teeth will bite off the leaves from the plant, the swallow into the belly.
It is because of the unique way of reproduction and growth and body organization, sauropods to overcome limitations of bulk bring.It is no exaggeration to say that sauropods is the “elite” the age of the dinosaurs.

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