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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods
>From: Jeffrey Martz <martz@holly.ColoState.EDU>
> Although I am certainly among the skeptics concerning the idea of
> diplodocids feeding in a tripodal arrangement, I don't think the idea
> is totally implausable. Certain types of sauropods such as Brachiosaurus
> and Omeiosaurus propably held thier heads up pretty high anyway.
I do not know of anybody who has suggested "tripodal" feeding for
any group except the diplodocoids (diplodocids, dicraeosaurids,
and *perhaps* the titanosaurids).
The neck articulation in the brachiosaurids is "vertical", and thus
puts the neutral head position quite high. They clearly fed at
heights above 30 ft.
> I don't
> think anyone will suggest that Brachiosaurus was feeding on low lying
> vegetation because it couldn't get blood up to it's brain.
Actually, the only sauropod for which I have heard a reasonable
argument for low feeding is Apatosaurus itself. It has the "horizontal"
neck articulation of a diplodocid combined with a heavy body that
probably couldn't achieve the tripodal stance. I suspect its long
neck is a retention from its diplodocid relatives.
[Note, giraffes normally feed high in the trees].
> Elephants ... 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.
Yep, and similar arguments can be applied to the typical diplodocids.
The peace of God be with you.