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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods

  Re:  Blood flow in Sauropods and their long necks and whether or not they
could hold them out horizontal or raise them up vertical; and other such

Uh, just a couple observations here about "functional morphology" from a
relative amateur:   Functional Morphology:  The bones are shaped the way they
are because of what they do."  

  Isn't it true that the skeletal anatomy of an animal can reveal how the
bones ware articulated, and the range of motion between these joints?  Is it
true that there are many good and complete examples of Sauropod fossils?
 Including complete cervical vertebrea series? Vertebrea series seem to
articulate in ways that suggest that the neck hade a wide range of motion,
way up high, way down low, see where I'm going with this?  I can't stick my
elbow in my ear, because my arm don't bend that way.  But the saurapod neck
could bend that way and so,  certainly it did.  The morphology of the bones
shows how the neck functions on a mechanical level.  Therefore isn't it silly
to suggest that the Sauropod passed out or had a stroke  every time it tried
to brouse.  That it had this incredible neck that it couldn't fully utilize
because of an inadaquate pyhsiology, "My heart is too small"  "My blood is
too cold"   Oh well, perhaps they couldn't raise their heads after all
because some of us can't imagine the metabolism required to accomplish that
feat.  Come on!     

Consider another giant and "alien" metabolism, a real world example:  Supose
you found the hitherto unknown skeleton of a modern Sperm Whale, bleached
bones scattered on a sandy beach above the tide mark so that they could be
carefully studied. Those bones could be reassembled, and you could pretty
much figure out what the animal was designed to do, how it worked at a
mechanical level.  You might even speculate correctly about specialized
functions like extreme deep diving, breath holding and sonar capability.
  The specalized physiology to drive that machine must have been there, and
it is.  I'm not here to discuss whale metabolism, you can read all about it
at the library.  But the adaptations are  numerous; gross and subtle, and the
sperm whale does perform as his skeleton suggests.    

So the question is a physiological one, isn't it?  Not Whether the Saurapod
could raise it's neck for sustained periods to browse on the connifer of
choice, but How?  What kind of metabolism is required to grow, and sustain
and fully utilize that neck?   Isn't this indirect evidence of a higher than
crocidilian metabolim?

Final point: If you are a Sauropod or an Elephant, 2 meters high at the
shoulders you have got to get your mouth to ground level, or the ground to
your mouth.  Above examples are two solutions to the same problem.  The
Sauropod with its long neck and the Elephant with his trunk is able to reach
the ground.  I'm pretty sure that the Saurapod didn't lower his head to
drink, have an embolism, fall in the water hole and drown, either.  Please
don't niggle me about details, I know they didn't all browse on connifers,
did they?   Am I asking too many questions?   I'm thinking about this stuff
all the time.  (Tongue in cheek where necessary)

Bill Hunt - Hunt Studios
Wildlife - Paleo Wildlife
Bronze - Stained Glass - Metal Sculpture
2780 Chaparral Ln  -  Paso Robles,  CA  -  93446
E-mail:  Willsculpt@AOL.com - or - Willsculpt@fix.net 
Voice: 805-237-0733  
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