Biology of the sauropod dinosaurs: the evolution of gigantism.
Bottom Line: Scaling relationships between gastrointestinal tract size and basal metabolic rate (BMR) suggest that sauropods compensated for the lack of particle reduction with long retention times, even at high uptake rates.The extensive pneumatization of the axial skeleton resulted from the evolution of an avian-style respiratory system, presumably at the base of Saurischia.An avian-style respiratory system would also have lowered the cost of breathing, reduced specific gravity, and may have been important in removing excess body heat.
Affiliation: Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. email@example.comShow MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus
Mentions: The sauropod body plan is unique among terrestrial tetrapods: a body superficially similar to that of proboscideans (elephants) among mammals is combined with a very small head on a very long neck and a tail, considerably exceeding those of other dinosaurs in relative (and absolute) length (Figs 1, 5). The small and light-weight skull is biomechanically linked to the long neck because of the leverage exerted by the head on the neck (Witzel & Preuschoft, 2005; Witzel, 2007; Witzel et al., in press).
Affiliation: Steinmann Institute, University of Bonn, Germany. firstname.lastname@example.org