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Re: sauropod spines

>Not only do some sauropods (Shunosaurus & Omeisaurus) have clubbed tails,
>but now it appears some diplodocid sauropods may have sported a row of
>dermal spines (some as tall as 18 cm).
>Small spines are found at the whiplash part of tail, making the tail a
>very useful defensive weapon against predators.
>---John Schneiderman <dino@cwis.unomaha.edu>

  I know that sauropods (family Saurischia) are not supposed to be closely
related to Stegosaurs and Ankylosaurs (family Ornithiscia), but there seems
to be an uncomfortably large number of convergent evolutionary features in
  I suppose this does support the longtime speculation that other sauropods
(Diplodocus, Apatosaurus, etc.) used their tails to fight off predators.

  By the way, can someone explain to me why the family that birds evolved from
is named for a lizard-like hip while the family that birds did not evolve from
is named for a bird-like hip? Convergent evolution again?

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer