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Movement in Sauropods
email@example.com sez: . . . . . but don't rely on what you can get
>bones to do. If you take a human skeleton, for example, you can >move most
joints through degrees of movement that are >impossible in a living human.
The point it that, while experiments >with bones can demonstrate the
range of movements, it >does not mean that the organism was able to
>those movements in life.
I'll concede this Paul, mostly. Bones have subtle clues too, muscle and
tendon scars that provide clues to capabilities and limitations in the living
being. But humans are a bad example. Most Humans today can't move thru a
full range of motion because of conditioning. Look at gymnasts and dancers
and marathon runners to see what the human body is capable of. In our
artifical world we don't all have to be in great physical condition to
survive. At the end of the last Ice Age when life expectancys were mid
twenties, everyone in the tribe could run a marathon, or protect the few that
In nature, being in great physical condition is essential. The Sauropod's
apparent ability to rear up on it's hind legs has been discussed here
recently too. Seems like a good idea to me. It moves the relatively
vulnerable head and neck up and out of harm's way, and in brings those big
thumb spikes up in a defensive position. Must have had a big engine to
drive that machine. And it must have been a formidible sight to even a Big
Therapod. In a population of head raising, rearing up on the hind legs,
thumb spikes at the ready Sauropods, it is the individual that cannot do that
yet, or anymore, or fast enough that will be vulnerable to a predetor.
I may be going out on a limb here, but I do think it's valid to apply
ecological concepts, predetor/prey dynamics and behaviors to what we know
about Dinosaur anatomy and morphology.
>Be careful when playing with bones; dead animals do lie.
Dead animals don't lie, they imply.
Bill Hunt - Hunt Studios
Wildlife - Paleo Wildlife
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