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Re: Yo!



>Yo wazzup dudes and dudettes!
>
>I was just chillin' and then a thought hit me...why didn't I just mail
>those dudes and dudettes at the dinothingie list and ask 'em what they
>thought was the reason for the very large nasalthingie on Brachiosaurus
>(I think it's on Camarasaurus too, but I'm not sure). Was it like those
>things that stick out on giraffes (not the ears, the other things) or what?
>Could those Brachiodudes be submerged in water to their nasalthingies? So
>wathcha say? Peace, I'm out.

The "nasalthingie" on Brachiosaurus is the nostril region.  In all
sauropods, the nostrils are placed fairly high up on the skull, but
Brachiosaurus (at least, and maybe other brachiosaurids) have them
protruded fairly high up.

As Betty noted, the water pressures would be too extreme for those openings
to be used as a snorkel.  A possilbe reason for the position may have to do
with feeding - the snout could reach into the foliage of trees to chomp off
(but NOT chew!!) a piece, but the nostrils wouldn't be choked by the other
leaves.  A variant on this (which might work for diplodocoids, but not for
the more giraffe-like euhelopodids and brachiosaurids) would let the
sauropod reach into very shallow water to pull up food, while the nostrils
would still be exposed to air.

Other thoughts?

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092
U.S.A.