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Gigantism in Dinosaurs

"The largest carnivores also got larger in the Cretaceous.  Tyrannosaurus really is the ultimate predator.

"I once evolved my own theory of larger and larger relating to Italian restaurants.  In the Casa Nostra and the like a waiter always comes round to offer you ground black pepper from a pepper-grinder.  I noticed that as time and competition went on the grinders got ever larger.  Perhaps the proprietors thought that larger pepper-grinder gave them the edge over their neighbours.  I have seen tiny waiters struggling with vast black grinders, all the while trying to smile and keep up the banter.  In my scenario, the process continues until the pepper-grinder becomes so large that the waiter staggers around on wobbly legs, unable to lift it.

"The custom declines, and the restaurant becomes extinct.  I do not present this as a serious evolutionary analogy, but something like it has been proposed in the past to account for gigantism, saying essentially that a trend, once stared, runs on until it is lethal.  In fact, I suppose the pepper-grinder would be abandoned -- or the restaurant might hire a bigger waiter."  From Life, by Richard Fortey.


Anonymous said...

I spent some time coloring a paper mache dinosaur with various shades of green crayons. I glued a single googly eye to the middle of the forehead. I call it Cycloposaurus. His favorite saying is "Peripheral, Smaripheral." He says this(in my mind) as I make him stumble over the desktop.

I like your new header on the Flum.

John Dantzer said...

Dinosaur fun! It's too bad dinosaurs went extinct, or that we cannot resuscitate them. I would like one for a pet.