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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods

At 3:23 PM 9/6/95, Stan Friesen wrote:
>For *most* sauropods this is true.  For diplodocids the story
>is different.  The diplodocid neck was held *horizontally*.
>What blinking good does a long horizontal neck do? (And given
>the *extreme* length of some diplodocid necks, it must have had
>*some* purpose).  However, by standing on their hind legs that
>horizontal neck becomes a vertical one.  Now it accomplishes

        I'm not yet convinced by the arguments that the necks of
diplodocids were limited to movement in a horizontal plane.  While the
_Diplodocus_ at the Denver Museum was being mounted, Ken Carpenter played
with the neck vertebrae a great deal to see exactly how much vertical
flexure really _was_ possible, and it turned out that it was a great deal
more than purely horizontal.  Certainly it couldn't get the neck vertical,
a la _Brachiosaurus_, and also seen in some reconstructions and even the
occasional mount of a non-brachiosaurid sauropod, but it was by no means
limited to just the horizontal plane.

Jerry D. Harris
Shuler Museum of Paleontology
Southern Methodist University
Box 750395
Dallas  TX  75275-0395
(214) 768-2750
FAX:  (214) 768-2701
        (Compuserve:  73132,3372)

---------/O\------*     --->|:|:|>     w___/^^^\--o

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and
quacks like a duck, then it is the sister taxon to,
but cannot parsimoniously be, the direct ancestor
to all other ducks."

                                --  _not_ W. Hennig

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