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Re: sauropod feeding dogma*



This line of argument/discussion has probably exhausted itself by 
now.  But, anyway....
 
>      When Ken Carpenter played around with the cervicals when he 
> remounted DMNH's Diplodocus, he found that there is actually a high 
> degree of flexibility.  The head could be raised quite high, and curved 
> downward almost far enough to have the head upside down.

Diplodocids may have had flexible necks, but take for example 
_Mamenchisaurus_ which (relatively) had the longest neck of any 
sauropod, and the most cervical vertebrae.  Its neck would have been 
very rigid - on account of the bony rods projecting from the 
cervical ribs of each vertebra which overlapped the succeeding 
three vertebrae.
It used to be thought that _Mamenchi_'s neck was held horizontally 
and was used to sweep from side-to-side over lakes and swamps, so the 
head could pluck the soft water plants below.  (Sort of like a giant 
vacuum cleaner.)  But, since then _Mamenchi_ has been shown to have 
teeth more like _Camarasaurus_ and _Euhelopus_ than diplodocids.