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Re: Blood flow in Sauropods



     > A 8 metre long neck, 3 metres above the ground allows you to cut a 
     >16 metre wide swathe through the vegetation at a height of 3 metres 
     >of less without overloading the blood circulation to the head 
     >associated with raising the neck above the horizontal ... That is a 
     >blinking good use for a long horizontal neck.
     
     and Stan replied:
     
     >>I have to disagree.  *All* living animals with similar long necks 
     >>are *high* browsers.  They normall browse at the vertical limit of 
     >>their reach.  The similarity of sauropodomorph necks to those of 
     >>living giraffes, camels, llamas and such like is too close to be 
     >>mere coincidence.  This is clear evidence that they were high 
     >>browsers. Even the less extreme neck of the gerenuk is apparently an 
     >>adaptation for high browsing.
     
     >>The simple fact is that a long neck is a "maintenance" and 
     >>development problem and merely establishing a long reach is an 
     >>insufficient advantage to overcome these problems. [Even when 
     >>horizaontal such a long neck requires special muscles and tendons to 
     >>support it, and costs more energy to hold in place than a normal 
     >>neck].
     
     Stan, 
     You are being species-biased towards mammals. 
     Geese, ostriches, emus, storks, herons, flamingos, and loons all have 
     long necks. Emus, flamingos, and ostriches even fit into the 
     proportion of length-of-neck-to-body-length similar to sauropods.  
     They are none of them high browsers.  Not even the vegetarian-oriented 
     geese.  They graze.
     
     -Betty Cunningham
     (bcunning@nssi.com at work)
     (bettyc@flyinggoat.com in the studio)