I’m working on a paper right now for my vertebrate paleontology class. The thesis of the paper is that climatic conditions in the Cretaceous, particular levels of O2 and CO2, allowed for terresterial vertebrates to exist which were up to 5x larger than anything which appeared after the KT extinction. The theory being that with higher levels of oxygen in the atomshpere, and CO2 which would allow for higher levels of dissolved oxygen in the blood, terresterial vertebrates would be able to grow larger.
There has been quite a bit of work done showing a link between invertebrate growth and oxygen levels, but not much with vertebrates.
At this point, I think I might just end up debunking the theory. The problem, as I’ve discovered, is that there is a limit to the amount of oxygen your blood can hold. (one corralary to this is that football players who wear an oxygen mask may not be getting any more oxygen than if they would from just breathing deeply) Currently, the atmosphere is about 20% oxygen, and it was about 30% oxygen when the big dinosaurs lived (saurapods).
We of course have no clue what the blood of dinosaurs was like, but if it was in any way like that of extant vertebrates, I’m not sure if they oxygen would have made that much of a difference.