Document Detail

In vitro digestibility of fern and gymnosperm foliage: implications for sauropod feeding ecology and diet selection.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18252667     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sauropod dinosaurs, the dominant herbivores throughout the Jurassic, challenge general rules of large vertebrate herbivory. With body weights surpassing those of any other megaherbivore, they relied almost exclusively on pre-angiosperm plants such as gymnosperms, ferns and fern allies as food sources, plant groups that are generally believed to be of very low nutritional quality. However, the nutritive value of these taxa is virtually unknown, despite their importance in the reconstruction of the ecology of Mesozoic herbivores. Using a feed evaluation test for extant herbivores, we show that the energy content of horsetails and of certain conifers and ferns is at a level comparable to extant browse. Based on our experimental results, plants such as Equisetum, Araucaria, Ginkgo and Angiopteris would have formed a major part of sauropod diets, while cycads, tree ferns and podocarp conifers would have been poor sources of energy. Energy-rich but slow-fermenting Araucaria, which was globally distributed in the Jurassic, was probably targeted by giant, high-browsing sauropods with their presumably very long ingesta retention times. Our data make possible a more realistic calculation of the daily food intake of an individual sauropod and improve our understanding of how large herbivorous dinosaurs could have flourished in pre-angiosperm ecosystems.
Jürgen Hummel; Carole T Gee; Karl-Heinz Südekum; P Martin Sander; Gunther Nogge; Marcus Clauss
Related Documents :
1780177 - Effects of plagiorhynchus cylindraceus (acanthocephala) on the energy metabolism of adu...
25280107 - Neighborhood socioeconomic status and food environment: a 20-year longitudinal latent c...
8429367 - Gender bias in food intake favors male preschool guatemalan children.
17742597 - Energy intake of the mouring dove zenaidura macroura marginella.
10891647 - Regional cerebral blood flow during exposure to food in obese binge eating women.
21975257 - Developing biosafety risk hypotheses for invertebrates exposed to gm plants using conce...
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society     Volume:  275     ISSN:  0962-8452     ISO Abbreviation:  Proc. Biol. Sci.     Publication Date:  2008 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-11     Completed Date:  2008-08-07     Revised Date:  2013-06-06    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101245157     Medline TA:  Proc Biol Sci     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1015-21     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Animal Science, University of Bonn, Endenicher Allee 15, 53115 Bonn, Germany.
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms
Animal Feed*
Dinosaurs / physiology*
Energy Metabolism
Ginkgo biloba

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Previous Document:  Pool desiccation and developmental thresholds in the common frog, Rana temporaria.
Next Document:  Brainless but not clueless: earthworms boost their ejaculates when they detect fecund non-virgin par...