Project B2: Metabolism
|Title||The physiology of sauropods in view of body mass, available biomass, and biological rhythms|
|Principal Investigator||Prof. Dr. Hanns-Christian Gunga|
|Researchers||Tim Suthau, Anke Bellmann|
In previous studies, we used classic photogrammetry on mounted skeletons to gather data on the body mass of some well-known sauropods. These studies raised numerous new questions on the physiology of the sauropods and on more far-reaching issues such as nutrition and metabolism (growth phases), thermoregulation as well as the cardiovascular system. In order to pursue these, we need to obtain data for additional sauropod taxa with different body masses and body volume distributions.
In contrast to previous studies, we now use a new type of laser scanner on the mounted skeleton. Based on these body mass estimates, we address the physiology of sauropods (organ/organ systems) using allometric equations.
A second focus of the project is a detailed investigation of the teeth (dentin, enamel) of sauropods to obtain information about growth rhythms and nutritional cycles. This information is critical to understanding the evolution of the autonomous nervous system of sauropods.