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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods

On Tue, 5 Sep 1995 Lightwaves@aol.com wrote:

> Hi people,
> I recently learned that Giraffes have special valves in their necks to
> prevent excess blood pressure, in their heads, when they bend down to drink.
> This made me wonder if Sauropods had similar mechanisms, especially in the
> larger varieties. Then I asked myself how we could detemine if this was true
> or no. Also, I wonderd if they would lower their entire body as opposed to
> Giraffes spead-legged stance.

     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 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.  
     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.
     I think I've completely digressed from the original subject 
matter.  Whatever.  

                                                         J. Martz