Something that I sort of forgot about since starting on the research was the fact that there are some clear examples of creatures and animals which have over the many years of Earth’s history increased in size. The best example are the dinosaurs, a group of reptiles which lived millions of years ago and grew to be the biggest creatures that have ever walked on land.
Some of the biggest dinosaurs were the sauropods, long neck and long tails lizard looking creatures walking on 4 legs. Currently the tallest, longest, and biggest sauropods are the Argentinosaurus which is estimated to be around 140 feet long, over 40 feet tall, and over 110 tons in weight.
From two recent articles I read,
- New Theory Tries To Explain Why Dinosaurs Grew So Huge — Especially Their Amazing Necks
- How Dinosaurs Got So Huge
I would wonder whether there is something important we as height increase researchers can possibly take away from looking at the example of these monsters from the past.
Here are the critical points taken from the articles.
From the first articles, the researchers can guessing that these could be the reasons how the dinosaurs could grow so large.
- An increased level of O2 concentration on the plant
- An overabundance of food
- The respiratory system of dinosaurs had air sacs which made the body much lighter and even made the bones lighter.
- The fact that dinosaurs as reptiles can have much more baby dinosaurs who were already fully developed once they leave the mother’s womb. The size limitation of mammals like us is because human mothers can only have maybe only 1-2 babies at a time, and after birth, it still takes many years of caring before the baby is big and strong enough to fend for itself.
I think it is important to realize that reptiles and fish have this ability which mammals don’t, which is “indeterminant growth”. There is no physical laws or hard bone contraints which keep them from expanding their bodies and get bigger. A good example are catfish, which can grow to be over 1000 lbs and over 15 feet long as reported by people from many parts of the world in the 19th century before mass fishing reduced their sizes.
The fact that the brains of dinosaurs are jokingly small means that the largest, tallest dinosaurs could have small heads and long necks relative to their large bodies. If the head of the sauropods were in proportion to their bodies like humans, the neck would snap and the dinosaur would die because the head and brain were too heavy due to gravity.
From the 2nd study, we learn more about how the large sauropods were like by looking at their anatomy and physiology. The smaller version of the argentinosaurus, the mamenchisaurus, needed 100,000 calories of food to keep itself alive and the way its teeth seem to be in form suggest that they only ate plants and leaves and they did not chew, but swallowed the food down.
It seems that the chewing is what also limits body size…
“Chewing limits body size,” Sander said, explaining that animals that rely on chewing, like many mammals, depend on big molars and muscles to grind up their food to make nutrients available. As an animal gets larger, it needs progressively more energy, and eventually this cumbersome system can’t provide it with enough calories.”
It seems that for an animal this big, they need calories and energy at such a high rate that chewing would be too slow to get the food down inside of them. What is more amazing is that the baby dinosaurs that hatch from eggs smaller than a soccer ball gain around 12 lbs a day and continues this rate for a long time. The researchers thus seem to show that at least a for a short period of the dinosaurs life, they are warm blooded and have high levels of metabolism.
Implications For Height Increase:
The size of the dinosaurs depended on multiple factors. I would guess that the main thing was that the air sac in their respiratory system made it so that the bones were lighter but still had the same amount of strength.
I don’t think it would be smart to try to emulate the reproductive habits of the dinosaurs just so we as an individual become taller. We will not be producing hundreds of fully developed, mobiel babies and be willing to accept the idea that only a few of them will survive long into to adulthood to reproduce.
Our eating habits and our environment may actually lead to taller bodies though. The issue of constantly eating, having excess amounts of food, and have a smaller head relative to body suggest that maybe have a smaller skull size or brain to the body will make a person taller.
The lighter bones is an interesting idea and it might mean that we should try to decrease the amount of calcium deposits in our bones to make ourselves lighter.
The idea of extra oxygen makes sense in terms of having more energy but cartilage and chondrocytes in general don’t proliferate in the presence of O2 excess, but actually in O2’s absence.