Document Detail

The energetics of low browsing in sauropods.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21429913     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
It has recently been argued that the probable high cost of travel for sauropod dinosaurs would have made exploiting high forage energetically attractive, if this reduced the need to travel between food patches. This argument was supported by simple calculations. Here, we take a similar approach to evaluate the energetics of foraging close to the ground. We predict that small extensions of the neck beyond the minimum required for the mouth to reach the ground bring substantial energetic savings. Each increment of length brings a further saving, but the sizes of such benefits decrease with increasing neck length. However, the observed neck length of around 9 m for Brachiosaurus (for example) is predicted to reduce the overall cost of foraging by 80 per cent, compared with a minimally necked individual. We argue that the long neck of the sauropods may have been under positive selection for low foraging (instead of, or as well as, exploitation of high foraging), if this long neck allowed a greater area of food to be exploited from a given position and thus reduced the energetically expensive movement of the whole animal.
Graeme D Ruxton; David M Wilkinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-03-23
Journal Detail:
Title:  Biology letters     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1744-957X     ISO Abbreviation:  Biol. Lett.     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-09-13     Completed Date:  2011-12-22     Revised Date:  2013-06-30    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101247722     Medline TA:  Biol Lett     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  779-81     Citation Subset:  IM    
College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Dinosaurs / metabolism,  physiology*
Energy Metabolism*
Feeding Behavior*
Models, Theoretical

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

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