Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants

Title: Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs: Understanding the Life of Giants

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Sauropods, those huge plant-eating dinosaurs, possessed bodies that seem to defy every natural law. What were these creatures like as living animals and how could they reach such uniquely gigantic sizes? A dedicated group of researchers in Germany in disciplines ranging from engineering and materials science to animal nutrition and paleontology went in search of the answers to these questions. 

Biology of the Sauropod Dinosaurs reports on the latest results from this seemingly disparate group of research fields and integrates them into a coherent theory regarding sauropod gigantism. Covering nutrition, physiology, growth, and skeletal structure and body plans, this volume presents the most up-to-date knowledge about the biology of these enormous dinosaurs. By Nicole Klein. Hardcover/ 344 pages.


  • Introduction: Sauropod Biology and Evolution of Gigantism by M Clauss
  • Nutrition: Sauropod Feeding and Digestive Physiology by J Hummel and M Clauss. Dietary Options for the Sauropod Dinosaurs from an Integrated Botanical and Paleobotanical Perspective by C Gee. The Diet of Sauropod Dinosaurs: Implications of Carbon Isotope Analysis on Teeth, Bones and Plants by T Tutken. 
  • Physiology: Structure and Function of the Sauropod Respiratory System by S Perry, T Breuer and N Pajor. Reconstructing Body Volume and Surface Area of Dinosaurs Using Laser Scanning and Photogrammetry by S. Stoinski, T Suthau and H Gunga. Body Mass Extinction, Thermoregulation and Cardiovascular Physiology of Large Sauropods by B Ganse, A Stahn, S Stroinski, T Suthau and H Gunga. 
  • Construction: How to Get Big in the Mesozoic: The Evolution of the Sauropodomorph Body Plan by O Rauhut, R Fechner, K Remes and K Reis. Characterisation of Sauropod Bone Structure by M Dumont, A Borbely, A Kostka, P Martin Sander and A Kaysser-Pyzalla. Finite Element Analyses and Virtual Syntheses of Biological Structures and their application to Sauropod Skulls by U Witzel, J Mannhardt, R Goessling, P de Micheli and H Preushoft. Walking with the Shoulder of Giants: Biomechanical Conditions in the Tetrapod Shoulder Girdle as a Basis for Sauropod Shoulder Reconstruction by B Hohn. Huge so huge? Biomechanical reasons for the Acquisition of Large Size in Sauropod and Theropod Dinosaurs by H Preuschoft, B Hohn, S Stoiski and U Witzel. Plateosaurus in 3D: How CAD Models and Kinetic-Dynamic Modelling Bring an Extinct Animal to Life by H Mallison. Rearing Giants: Kinetic-Dynamic Modeling of Sauropod Bipedal and Tripodal Poses by H Mallison. Neck Posture in Sauropods by A Christian and G Dzemeski. 
  • Growth: The Life Cycle of Sauropod Dinosaurs by E M Griebeler and J Werner. Sauropod Bone Histology and its implications for Sauropod Biology by M Sander, N Klein, K Stein and O Wings. 
  • Epilogue: Skeletal Reconstruction of Brachiosaurus brancai in the Museum fur Naturkunde, Berlin: Summarizing 70 years of Sauropod Research by K Remes, D Unwin, N Klein, W Heinrich and O Hampe 

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