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Re: Will the real Tanystropheus please stand up?!



>From: DAVEH47@delphi.com
> > 
> > I've heard recent talk here about that long-necked fish-eater
> > Tanystropheus, and I wondered if anyone could tell me that
> > creature's true identity.  I have in the past seen it classified
> > as a true lizard, an eosuchian, a primitive Euryapsid, and most
> > recently as an "archosauromorph", a group of "uncles" to the
> > archosaus that seems to consist solely of Tanystropheus and the
> > rhyncosaurs (which I had always heard before were related to the
> > Tuatara). 
>
>It is certainly NOT a true lizard.  Beyond that, it has been
>difficult to place properly.  I think it is now considered
>an archosauromorph, as you say.

According to Michael Benton, Tanystropheus was a prolacertiform, a
mid-triassic group closly related to the archosaurs.

One of the interesting about this creature is that although its neck was
more than twice as long as its body, the neck only contained nine vertibrae
(unlike sauropods which I think had as many as twenty). The neck would
therefore have been very inflexible.

Another interesting thing is that when they were young they had relatively
shory necks. As they reached maturity, they went through a growth spurt and
their necks grew incredibly long.

Hope this is of some assistance.

James Shields  -  jshields@iol.ie  -  http://www.iol.ie/~jshields
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And when the ark was finished Noah said unto Elvis, "What do you reckin?"
And Elvis checked out his own cabin and shook his head saying "poky".
And so did they knock several walls through and install a jaccuzzi.
And when it was all done Noah scratched his beard and said, "We don't have
room for all the animals now."
And Elvis perused the livestock list and in his wisdom said, "Lose the
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