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Sauropods



  This post is about sauropods (duh?).
  It is generaly accepted that prosauropods like Plateosaurus and such could
rear (right?).  However some doubt that Diplodocoideans (Diplodocidae +
Dicraeosauridae) could rear because the were too big and would have a
heart-attack, anurism or stroke or combination of the three; even though some
of the smaller Diplodocoideans were roughly about the same size as the larger
prosauropods.  Why?  If one now accepts that smaller Diplodocoideans could
rear, what stops the larger ones from doing the same since they were
functionally nearly identicle?
  All about Antarctosaurus.  I would very much apreciate everything you guys
could tell me about Antarctosaurus; Especially, everything about the skull
assigned to Antarctosaurus (i.e. was it associated with any diagnostic
skeletal material).  Does the skull really belong to Antarctosaurus, or even
a Titanosaurian at all; do the other specimens of Antarctosaurus lend
themselves to Titanosaurian afinities?
  This is what I'm getting at, I don't believe that Titanosaurians hold any
close affinities with Diplodocoideans (any more), and that the skull assigned
to Antarctosaurus might actually be some sort of strange Dicraeosaurid or
something.  I do believe that the Diplodocoideans are a sister group to the
Camarasaurians (Camarasauridae + Opisthicoelocaudiidae) and that that whole
group has  the Euhelopodidae as a sister group because the all share
bifurcated nueral arches (I think that's what they're called) on their
cervical vertibrae.
  Back to the beginning.  If all those dinosaurs really do form a group as I
believe, it would seem that having an upwardly arched neck is in fact
primative for that group, not derived; and that the evolution of the
"horizontal" neck of the Diplodocoideans is in fact derived: therefore
showing that Diplodocoideans went through a lot of trouble to gain that type
of neck so it had to be advantageous to some extent (oh, like feeding on
branches that no one else can reach).  Do you guys get what I'm saying here?

Peter Buchholz
Stang1996@aol.com

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