Can the giant snake predict palaeoclimate?

  title={Can the giant snake predict palaeoclimate?},
  author={Mark W. Denny and Brent L. Lockwood and George N. Somero},
Arising from: J. J. Head et al. 457, 715–717 (2009)10.1038/nature07671; Head et al. replyIn their report on Titanoboa cerrejonensis, Head et al. propose that the great size of this 58 to 60 million-year-old snake (estimated length = 13 m, mass = 1,135 kg) indicates a mean annual neotropical temperature (MAT) of 30–34 °C, substantially higher than previous estimates for that period. They argue that the high MAT was necessary to compensate for the decreased mass-specific metabolic rate intrinsic… 
Re-calibrating the snake palaeothermometer
Arising from: J. J. Head et al. 457, 715–717 (2009)10.1038/nature07671; Head et al. replyIn a recent study a new proxy for palaeoclimate reconstructions was proposed on the basis of a theoretical
Head et al. reply
Replying to: J. M. K. Sniderman 460, 10.1038/nature08222 (2009); A. M. Makarieva, V. G. Gorshkov & B.-L. Li 460, 10.1038/nature08223 (2009); M. W. Denny, B. L. Lockwood & G. N. Somero 460,
A new Eocaiman (Alligatoridae, Crocodylia) from the Itaboraí Basin, Paleogene of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The new taxon has a relatively small body size in comparison with other species of Eocaiman, a case paralleled by other Itaboraian reptilian groups (e.g. snakes), suggesting that this ecosystem provides critical data to test the relationship between reptilian body size and climate.


Giant boid snake from the Palaeocene neotropics reveals hotter past equatorial temperatures
Depositional environments and faunal composition of the Cerrejón Formation indicate an anaconda-like ecology for the giant snake, and an earliest Cenozoic origin of neotropical vertebrate faunas.
Hot limpets: predicting body temperature in a conductance-mediated thermal system
A simple heat-budget model of the limpet Lottia gigantea is proposed, which predicts the daily maximal body temperatures of live limpets within a fraction of a degree, suggesting that it may be a useful tool for exploring the thermal biology of limpets and for predicting effects of climate change.
Temperature-associated upper limits to body size in terrestrial poikilotherms
We show that the largest tropical species of terrestrial poikilotherms from 25 taxa exceed, in linear body size, the largest representatives of the same taxa from the temperate (e.g. Great Britain)
A note on metabolic rate dependence on body size in plants and animals.
The agreement about the ubiquity of a1⁄4 3/4 in the living world has recently been seriously challenged by extensive analyses of data unavailable at the time of adopting the ‘‘3/4 rule’’.
Gigantism, temperature and metabolic rate in terrestrial poikilotherms
It is found that poikilothermic giants on land become two–three times shorter per each 10 degrees of decrease in ambient temperature, which supports the idea that the upper limit to body size within each taxon can be set by a temperature-independent critical minimum value of mass-specific metabolic rate.
A giant frog with South American affinities from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar
A recently discovered Late Cretaceous anuran is described that differs strikingly in size and morphology from extant Malagasy taxa and is unrelated either to them or to the predicted occupants of the Madagascar–Seychelles–India landmass when it separated from Africa 160 million years ago (Mya).
The scaling and temperature dependence of vertebrate metabolism
There is no universal metabolic allometry and models that attempt to explain only quarter-power scaling of metabolic rate are unlikely to succeed, according to compiled SMR measurements for 938 species spanning six orders of magnitude variation in mass.
Resting metabolic rates in boid snakes: allometric relationships and temperature effects
Values of the adjusted mean Y, from covariance analysis, were significantly and positively correlated with mass, indicating that the mass coefficient increases with increasing mass.
Mean mass-specific metabolic rates are strikingly similar across life's major domains: Evidence for life's metabolic optimum
It is demonstrated that, despite the enormous biochemical, physiological, and ecological differences between the surveyed species that vary over 1020-fold in body mass, mean metabolic rates of major taxonomic groups displayed at physiological rest converge on a narrow range from 0.3 to 9 W kg−1.