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Re: sauropod feeding dogma, contribution #999,999



 
>  >  One would guess that they might have used a strategy similar to 
>  > giraffes and spread their front legs, or went down on their elbows, to 
>  > drink. 
> 
> A sauropod going down on its elbows?
> Not likely.  Thier thick, elephant-like legs were not very bendable.

Trouble is, brachiosaurids had very tall shoulders and long 
forelimbs.  The neck doesn't strike me as particularly flexible, 
especially as its composed of the minimum number of cervical 
vertebrae found in sauropods - each individual vertebrae is just 
highly elongated (cf _Euhelopus_).

For the head of _Brachiosaurus_ to reach down to ground level, the 
neck must have been held at an angle of at least 30 degrees below the 
horizontal.  (Assuming, of course, that _Brachiosaurus_ could not go 
down on its elbows.)  Is this possible, considering that (as I 
understand it) the neck/back articulation of brachiosaurids was 
designed to orient the neck upwards?

I have no trouble envisaging the long necks of diplodocids, 
dicraeosaurids, mamenchisaurs, omeisaurs, etc carving a smooth arc 
from the shoulders down to the water's edge.  But brachiosaurids??