Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants

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Nicole Klein
Indiana University Press, 2011 - Science - 331 pages
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The book opens with a synthesis of the sauropods and their gigantism, followed by three chapters on the plant and animal factors involved in sauropod nutritional biology. The next four chapters on metabolism and growth demonstrate that sauropods must have had an avian-style respiratory system and high growth rates, which were probably fueled by a high metabolic rate. Sauropod biomechanics are treated extensively in the next eight chapters, showing that the sauropod body was a large and extremely lightweight construction adapted to the energy-efficient harvesting of plant food and to providing protection from predation by its sheer size. Information on sauropod growth, life cycles, and reproductive biology is provided in two chapters on bone microstructure and egg occurrences. The combination of efficient food uptake, high growth rates fueled by high metabolic rates, an avian-style respiratory system, and many small offspring emerges as the explanation for the exceptional body size --
 

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Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants

User Review  - Gloria Maxwell - Book Verdict

In an effort to explain why and how the largest of the sauropod dinosaurs achieved their gargantuan size, a group of German and Swiss researchers worked together to explore dinosaur gigantism. The 38 ... Read full review

Contents

PART 1 NUTRITION
9
PART 2 PHYSIOLOGY
81
PART 3 CONSTRUCTION
117
PART 4 GROWTH
261
PART 5 EPILOGUE
303
Compilation of Published Body Mass Data for a Variety of Basal Sauropodomorphs and Sauropods
317
Index
323
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About the author (2011)

Nicole Klein is a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Bonn who specializes in sauropodomorph dinosaur bone histology and marine reptiles from the Middle Triassic Muschelkalk deposits of Central Europe. She has done extensive fieldwork in many parts of the world, including Alaska and Nevada in the United States, and Ethiopia.

Kristian Remes has studied sauropodomorph anatomy, functional morphology, and phylogeny. He played a major role in the remounting of the famous Brachiosaurus skeleton in the newly renovated Dinosaur Hall at the Museum f r Naturkunde in Berlin. He is now a program director at the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Carole T. Gee, a senior research scientist at the University of Bonn, has worked on the Mesozoic flora for the last 25 years. She is the Research Unit's paleobotanist and answers questions on sauropod herbivory and the Mesozoic vegetation. Her research applies the knowledge of living plants and their ecological preferences to the interpretation of fossil plants and their habitats, and also includes studies on Eocene mangroves, Tertiary fruits and seeds, and plant taphonomy.

P. Martin Sander is a professor of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Bonn and head of the DFG Research Unit 533 "Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: The Evolution of Gigantism." His research interests are the major events in the evolution of tetrapod vertebrates and how the fossil record helps us to understand them. His core expertise is the microstructure of dinosaur bone and the diversity and evolution of marine reptiles.

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