Dimetrodon could not keep its populations at a very high level

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Were there any ecological situations where Dimetrodon could not keep its populations at a very high level? (life size dinosaur)I found only one. Al Romer had excavated a highly unusual quarry in Texas called the Geraldine Bone Bed. There the fossil skeletons were mingled with segments of fossil logs and dark, carbonrich stains which permeated the entire mass of sediment.

 

The Geraldine was the strangest of all Dimetrodon's habitats. Animals usually common elsewhere were rare or absent entirely Eryops, for example. And animals usually very rare in the rest of Early Permian beds were superabundant at Geraldine鈥攖he big finback herbivore Edapbosaurus and the eel-like amphibian Archeria. (Dinosaur Costume)Romer concluded that the Geraldine Bone Bed was the remains of a stagnant backwater, a fetid swamp where rotting vegetation had choked the river channel. Those conditions kept Dimetrodon out. Only a few tiny juvenile specimens were found. But this was the sole exception to the rule that Dimetrodon maintained extremely high abundances.

 

At this point it might be valuable to explain a bit more about precisely how predator-to-prey ratios are calculated. A bioenergetic census isn't made on raw numbers of specimens alone but on estimates of total body weight as well. Body size determines how much food energy a predator requires. And the size of the prey's carcass, of course, determines the amount of meat available to the predator. My technique for calculating predator-to-prey ratios involved two steps. (Animatronic dinosaur)First, I sculpted scale models from careful reconstructions of the animal's appearance in life. Top, side, and cross-sectional views of the skeleton served as the basis for restoring major muscle masses in clay. When a model was completed, I immersed it in water to measure its volume. Once this volume was measured, it was a simple step to calculate the volume of the full-sized animal. And since nearly all vertebrate bodies are almost as dense as water (the average carcass is 95 percent as heavy as the equivalent water volume), the live weight could be figured with precision.

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