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Re: Sauropods

>I see what you are getting at. However, the ancestral condition
>in the *Sauropodomorpha* is a "horizontal" neck, as it is seen is
>the prosauropods, cetiosaurids and diplodocids.  This may be an
>apomorphy of the sauropodomorpha versus other dinosaurs.
>swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com             sarima@netcom.com
>The peace of God be with you.

A thought about this: the prosauropods (as sometimes restored) appear to
have been somewhat bipedal (is this actually true?)  If the primitive
sauropod condition included bipedality (I mean early sauropods - I know that
dinosaurs in general are suposed to have arisen from bipedal ancestors) a
horizontal neck would be the expected condition, as adopting the bipedal
posture would be all that was required to place the neck in a vertical
orientation.  An ability to flex the neck backwards would only become
advantageous as the animals became less and less bipedal (for energetic or
other reasons).

And just to show that I'm not convinced of this, it doesn't apply to the
gerenuk, which can certainly hold its neck bolt upright when not standing on
its hind legs.  Of course that may help it spot predators, and a gerenuk is
basically a quadruped, not a biped.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
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