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WINDED BY PACHIES...UH?



Hell it's good to be back. A million thanks to those of you who responded to the
pachycephalosaur queries, and thanks to BOTH Georges who mailed me (how many
of you knew that the mighty Olshevsky was one of our lurkers?).....

My area of research presently remains to be basal cetaceans, though I'm taking
a little break to ponder the finer details of all this pachyceph stuff. No, I'm
not getting involved in *thump*woof*tok!* head banging (my interpretation of
that behaviour in sheep), but while we have the experts interested, can I get
some speculations on the following quessies (sport.... you should get it Paul).

PACHY GUTS AND TAILS

This is difficult, as I'm trying hard not to go by what I've heard from Dr.
Bakker, but, not knowing the anatomical details myself, I'd like to know what's
going on at the _other_ end of a pachycephalosaur. Do caudal vertebrae suggest
any particular orientation of tail movement? See, Bob hinted at a functional
similarity between pachy tails and ankylosaurid ones.... obviously, the pachy
tail wouldn't be a good weapon/ornithopod head-mimic (hmmmm), so is this
acceptable? In fact, are any pachy tails well known? Greg Paul's reconstruction
of _Homalocephale_ shows exceptionally high numbers of bundled zygapophyses, and
apparently the most proximal caudal verts are constructed to hold guts. Guts in
the tail! Wow! So, does this mean that the pachy cloaca exits a little distance
from the ischium, rather than right behind it as in other archosaurs? If so,
well, maybe pachys didn't need to 'get their legs over', so to speak, when
copulating. They could have just twisted their tails together (have fun with
this one Neil, do we get pictures?).

But I digress... what do caudal processes of pachy tails reveal? If anything? 

Now, does the newly revealed similarity between _Pachycephalosaurus_ and
_Stygimoloch_ make for any exciting new evolutionary implications? Could they
be part of the same clade? (i.e. a branch away from the other pachys?)
Pachycephalosaurs have never been one of my strong-points, not that there's
anything wrong with them of course... guess I ought to read Maryanska's chapter
in Weis, Dod & Os... (it was Maryanska that wrote it wasn't it?).

Anyway, remember: MICKEY ROWE'S DINOSAUR LIST: BRINGING DINOSAURS BACK TO LIFE
(how's that for a tacky slogan...). So long for now troopers.

"You have learned much, young one"   "You'll find out I'm full of surprises"
"Your destiny lies with me, Skywalker. Obi Wan knew this to be true.."   "No"

"Wu--ahhh!"  "All too easy. Perhaps you are not as strong as the Emperor
thought. Impressive. Most impressive.."
"Obi Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now - release your
anger, only your hatred can destroy me!"

DARREN "watched TESB till 03:00 last night" NAISH