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RE:sauropod feeding*

On Mon, 1 Apr 1996, Kenneth Carpenter wrote:

> Stan Friesen wrote:
> >Geese are part of a group that largely feeds underwater.  I suspect
> >the long neck of the anseriformes may be an adaptation to reaching
> >the bottom of a pond.  
> Sorry, but the Canadian Geese out here in the west graze on the ground. 

As the tour guide at Northwest Trek once told me, "These are Canada 
geese, not Canadian geese.  They have no papers."  :-)  [poke in ribs]

> I seen them feed at the U.S.G.S. (no lakes around), at the softball 
> field near the museum and around City Park near the Museum. Karen Chin 
> analyzed some of their dung I sent her and confirmed that it was grass. 

Indeed.  But I believe the point that Stan was trying to make is that 
geese, as the most terrestrial members of an otherwise aquatic family, 
likely did not evolve their long necks *for the purpose of grazing* but 
that they are "left over" from a previous existence feeding from the 
bottoms of ponds.

> >Giraffes are mosre selective, elephants less so.
> >Giraffes, on average, feed higher, and elephants tend to feed lower.
> >In the same areas there are also baboons, chimpanzees, and in some 
> >areas elephants coexist with leaf-eating monkeys.
> The problem here is that Stan is mixing different kinds of mammals 
> having different life styles. 

I fail to see how that is relevant.  They are all looking for leaves to 
eat and must divide them up somehow.

> Stan has yet explain why diplodocids have a broad, grazing 
> type muzzle, while camarasaurids, etc. have a narrow, browsing muzzle. 

Hmm.  Perhaps the diplodocids were stripping whole branches (or multiple 
branches at a time) while the camarasaurs, etc., nipped individual leaves 
or needle clumps or whatever.  I am not the first to suggest this.

What kind of ground cover was around in the Mesozoic?  Most dinosaur 
drawings I've seen show a lot of bare earth.  Seems unlikely to me.

> Kenneth Carpenter

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447