Thursday, October 9, 2008

Feeding strategies

Biggest Dinosaurs Grew Huge by Not Chewing Their Food

Uh huh. Mom always made me chew my food and what did she get? A 5'7" runt.


James Hanley said...

Interesting, but...the article never explains how not chewing your food helps you grow large.

And I don't exactly understand how getting big and slow is a good defense against being eatern by predators.

I nominate that article for the annual award for the most interesting unanswered questions in a popular science article.

Scott Hanley said...

I think the idea is that chewing slows down your eating, which puts a cap on how much food you can take in. By being able to eat quickly, animals were able to gobble down enough nutrition to grow huge.

Slow isn't necessarily a defense, but being huge and traveling with a pack of huge friends is a good way to deter attacks. Apparently the sauropods also applied the strategy of reproducing rapidly, to recover from times of heavy losses.