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originally posted by: TexasSeabee
a reply to: Wolfenz
If we consider the possibility that earth had less gravity with different type of atmosphere that was conducive to large growth of plants and large availability of food that little guy could grow quite large if the conditions were ideal. So in my mind that cool little lizard could have been huge and terrifying at one point.
Despite being the atmosphere that life currently breathes, lives, and thrives on, our current oxidized atmosphere is not currently understood to be a great starting point for life. Methane and its oxygen-poor counterparts have much more biologic potential to jump from inorganic compounds to life-supporting amino acids and DNA. As such, Watson thinks the discovery of his group may reinvigorate theories that perhaps those building blocks for life were not created on Earth, but delivered from elsewhere in the galaxy. - See more at: www.astrobio.net...
According to recently developed geochemical models, oxygen levels are believed to have climbed to a maximum of 35 percent and then dropped to a low of 15 percent during a 120-million-year period that ended in a mass extinction at the end of the Permian. Such a jump in oxygen would have had dramatic biological consequences by enhancing diffusion-dependent processes such as respiration, allowing insects such as dragonflies, centipedes, scorpions and spiders to grow to very large sizes. Fossil records indicate, for example, that one species of dragonfly had a wing span of 2 1/2 feet. Geochemical models indicate that near the close of the Paleozoic era, during the Permian period, global atmospheric oxygen levels dropped to about 15 percent, lower that the current atmospheric level of 21 percent. The Permian period is marked by one of the greatest extinctions of both land and aquatic animals, including the giant dragonflies. But it is not believed that the drop in oxygen played a significant role in causing the extinction. Some creatures that became specially adapted to living in an oxygen-rich environment, such as the large flying insects and other giant arthropods, however, may have been unable to survive when the oxygen atmosphere underwent dramatic change.
PHOENIX, Oct. 28— Tiny bubbles trapped in amber for 80 million years have given scientists their first direct look at the earth's atmosphere in the time of the dinosaurs, a mix of gases that appears dramatically different from the air we breathe today. A preliminary analysis suggests that the ancient atmosphere may have been 50 percent richer in the oxygen that sustains the animal life of the planet.
originally posted by: cavedweller88
I'll just leave this right here....lol
Text In their study, Taylor and his colleagues found that the neck bones of sauropods possessed a number of traits that supported such long necks. For instance, air often made up 60 percent of these animals' necks, with some as light as birds' bones, making it easier to support long chains of the bones. The muscles, tendons and ligaments were also positioned around these vertebrae in a way that helped maximize leverage, making neck movements more efficient.
In addition, the dinosaurs' giant torsos and four-legged stances helped provide a stable platform for their necks. In contrast, giraffeshave relatively small torsos, while ostriches have two-legged stances.