>The reason why Arthropleura and other Arthropoda could get to such huge sizes compared with the small sizes for this category of animals nowadays, is that oxygen levels were higher in the Permian. Insects breathe by diffusion through a tracheal system, they don't have lungs, so their size is limited by this. There are other theories regarding why insects became smaller, including the appearance of birds as predators of insects, particularly flying insects.
>Regarding the size of dinosaurs, it is speculated that herbivorous dinosaurs got larger because the increased CO2 in the atmosphere allowed for a superabundance of plants that were increasingly larger as well. The carnivores had to follow suit in order to prey on the herbivorous behemoths. The biggest land animal of all times was Dreadnoughtus, which weighed in at about 65 tons, as big as a 747. The biggest land animal today, the African elephant, is 5 tons.
>Interestingly, the biggest animal of all times is the existing blue whale, which weighs about 100 tons. The oceans and other large bodies of water can support the existence of very large animals, because water buoyancy counteracts the gravitational pull. The blue whale can get as huge, because it eats krill, which is one of the most abundant foods on the planet. There is no fossil marine animal that got as big as the blue whale, so perhaps the exceptional gigantism phenomenon observed during the time of the dinosaurs only applied to land animals.
During the Carboniferous and Permian periods, atmospheric oxygen concentrations were significantly higher than they are today. Prehistoric insects breathed air that was 31-35% oxygen, as compared to just 21% oxygen in the air you're breathing as you read this.
Atmospheric oxygen is the single most limiting factor on insect size.
The cells in your body get the oxygen they need to survive via your circulatory system. Oxygen is carried by the blood, through your arteries and capillaries, to each and every cell in your body. In insects, respiration occurs by simple diffusion through the cell walls.
Insects take in atmospheric oxygen through spiracles, openings in the cuticle through which gases enter and exit the body. Oxygen molecules travel via the tracheal system. Each tracheal tube ends with a tracheole, where the oxygen dissolves into the tracheole fluid. The O2 then diffuses into the cells.
When oxygen levels were higher, as in the prehistoric era of giant insects, this diffusion-limited respiratory system could supply sufficient oxygen to meet the metabolic needs of a larger insect.
Oxygen could reach cells deep within the insect's body, even when that insect measured several feet long. As atmospheric oxygen decreased over evolutionary time, these innermost cells could not be adequately supplied with oxygen. Smaller insects were better equipped to function in a hypoxic environment.
And so, insects evolved into smaller versions of their prehistoric ancestors.
>>7782971 it depends actually free radical oxygen is very very bad it destroys cell-lining so we will live shorter lives
there is no immediate height growth but our hearts will pump slower since our bodies would get enough per pump thus the extra energy is stored, only over a long time maybe the body increase in usage but divided in relation to parts of the body that uses energy the most like brain and hands so "we" may not get like 30 meters tall.
dinosaurs did because they were in a pretty "simple" hunter/hunted dynamic
>>7782955 food Earth had much bigger trees back then and plant life. Big herbivores mean big carnivores. I recommend reading on multiple massive extinctions of life on Earth, and how it made good fuel for new life to develop. >can;t wait to become fuel for some awesome plant
Let me explain this to you in a way as simple as possible: Look at pic related. Imagine every row of cups is an order of organisms >bottom = bacteria or plants >next tier : plant-eaters >carnivores eating plants eaters 'bear in min that omnivores can fit on different layers at the same time) Now compare the current polluted world full of humans with an uncharted completely uncivilized world.
>this will result in a much taller tower. Now imagine every tier you go up increases the animal's size.
Why aren't there any big animals left? because humans hunted them down for either food or to protect themselves and recently started to fuck with several stages of you tower wich results in a smaller tower wich results in smaller animals.
The reason is that they are several million years old and space has extended since. Their skeletons are also more reddish than current skeletons because of that: photons coming out of them are redshifted.
>>7784586 It's called using your imagination. Everything was fucking massive back then. Imagine how big the whales were if fucking lizards and bugs were the 10 ft big back then. Just because we haven't found the skeletons of some giganto-whales doesn't mean they didn't exist, retard. They're probably somewhere at the bottom of the ocean in who knows where. Or maybe they've degraded into sediment after millions of years or something. Think about it, we know more about apace than we do about the ocean so just imagine how much we still don't know.
The scene in Omen where the nurse injects the air bubble into the IV while the woman helplessly lashes about before she dies a very painful death, is what I imagine when that dude swims through the arteries of a massive whale.
Ancient creatures seem huge because huge animals tend to fossilize more easily than smaller animals of the same morphology.
Given the same conditions, a tiger would be able to fossilize more easily than a house cat because it has larger bones, its corpse is heavier and wouldn't be washed down river as far, it wouldn't be eaten whole/ripped apart by scavengers and thus its bones would remain somewhat contiguous, as opposed to having been eaten whole or ripped apart (owl pellet anyone?).
Many ancient creatures seem huge because it just so happens that being huge makes you easier to be seen, both in real life and in the fossil record.
I don't trust these images. I was one of those kids who bought into the "Liopleuradon was 25m" meme. Only to discover it was actually only 12 and scientists were guesing based on it's arsehole bone or something like that. These huge renditions of dinosaurs and sea creatures are estimated upper limits. Of course brachiosauras has a complete skeleton, so I'll agree. But for shit like Argentinasauras or Ampthicoelias I believe it.
>>7782955 There are way more extinct species than there are species living today. If you wanted to choose any given living or extinct species at random, odds are the species you picked existed before humans. If you're just looking at the biggest most bad ass creatures ever, then statistically speaking they too probably existed before people.
Is it possible that during those millions of years, Earth was going through some sort of period where it wasn't blocking as much radiation from the sun, and the life on earth was being mutated through successive generations more rapidly?
>>7783167 >>7787700 Could they build a bio dome that simulates prehistoric atmospheric conditions? I wonder if all insects would be bitter? Giant cockroaches, giant ants, giant spiders.
What effect would this have on other types of organisms and how would they interact? In response to giant moths and dragonflies will we see giant spiders that are big enough to prey on small children when they exhaust their food source?
>>7783352 extinction of megafauna goes back farther than homo sapiens though. We are certainly to blame for some species (new world megafauna are the most compelling example) but there are many ecological factors in play that effect their survival. For example: larger animals need more space, due to higher caloric requirements, meaning they will be more spaced out than smaller animals. Then you introduce an extraordinarily clever social omnivore to the ecosystem, these large animals not only have new predators, but are also losing their previously large territories,and feeding grounds along with it. I did some research on this when I was an undergrad, but this is only applicable to Pleistocene megafauna, because that was when humans dispersed across the world
>>7784626 we only know more about space than our oceans because space is relatively simple compared to our oceans. Oceans are like hundreds of ecosystems all mixed together with no clear beginning or end, and we don't even have a great understanding of terrestrial ecosystems, which are much simpler than marine ecosystems. Space is just a bunch of waves and particles and not much matter. also space is comparatively uniform, so sending probes just outside our atmosphere tells us a lot about most of space whereas in the ocean, conditions vary quite a bit depending on location (both latitude/longitude and depth)
>>7796081 It would likely take generations of selective breeding in this enclosed habitat, but it may actually work. As soon as you remove them though (once reaching the intended size) , they're probably gonna die
>>7796572 didn't they already do this in a lab and get huge dragonflies on the 1st generation.
What I want to know is how big can they get. Is there a theoretical limit if you ignore oxygen limitations? Instead of 30% oxygen bump it up to 100% oxygen. If they grow big enough they might be big enough to surgically implant a breathing apparatus so they can live outside the oxygen bubble. Maybe they'll be big enough to carry people or small packages. (Amazon delivery drones?) If any escape to the wild they'll die after 1st generation as newborns won't have the breathing aid needed for our atmosphere.
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