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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods

At 12:55 PM 9/6/95, Jeffrey Martz wrote:
>     Secondly, I certainly don't see a reason that Stegosaurus couldn't
>go tripodal.  Elephants can get a similar mass on thier hind legs, even if
>for only brief periods of time.  However, any similarities elephants
>have with sauropods and stegosaurs is pretty superficial. Besides being
>massive herbivervores with pillar-like legs, they strucurally have little
>in common.  Elephants have massive heads that put a lot of weight on the
>anterior end, relatively small dorsal vertebrae anterior to the pelvis,
>and nothing to rest on.  They aren't really designed to go upright, but
>they can do it anyway.  Stegosaurs on the other hand have a little head,
>massive dorsal vertebrae, and a nice, big tail.

Hi Jeff! -

        Well, the oft-beleaguered response to the "elephants can be
tripodal, therefore sauropods and steogsaurs can" issue, and the one that
makes sense to me, is "Well, sure elephants _can_ be tripodal, but they've
never been observed in such a pose in the wild (to my knowledge)."  So
sure, maybe various dimensions of the sacrum in those animals indicates
that they _could_ have assumed a tripodal posture; that, of course, doesn't
mean that they _did_!  8-)  I can't see a real reason for most sauropods to
assume a tripodal stance  (stegosaurs are a little easier to imagine doing
this) -- I mean, how tall are the trees in the Late Jurassic supposed to
have been?!?  Trees in the African savannahs are taller than elephants, but
you don't see them rearing up to get their trunks into the higher parts of
the trees; I don't see sauropods rearing to get their trunks (essentially,
the whole neck) up into a tree.  Stegosaurs, _maybe_ -- I still like them
better as grazers on the ubiquitous fern ground cover, though -- but not

        Now, rearing up a la the AMNH _Barosaurus_, that's a whole 'nother

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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