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Rob Meyerson wrote:
> As an aside, there was an idea presented at the last North-Central GSA
> meeting, which may close the door on the idea of a "sail-backed" theropod
> (as well as any assumed flexibility of the spines). By comparing animals
> with large neural spines, he found that those with thin, needle-like spines
> supported a sail, while those with broad, flat, and blade-like spines were
> used to support a hump of some kind (similar to camels and pigs). If
> Spinosaurus carried a hump, then the spines would be rendered effectively
> inflexible. Who knows, perhaps Spinosaurus was the camel of it's day?
I've heard this idea bandied around for _Ouranosaurus_ - converting
this fellow from an anorexic-looking, sail-backed animal into a more
chunkier creature with a fat-laden, camel-style hump running down its
I've also come across the notion that the tall neural spines of
_Acrocanthosaurus_ may have been buried in a thick ridge of muscle.
In _The Dinosauria_, the chapter on Carnosaur Paleobiology (?Molnar
and Farlow) suggested that the anterior spines of _Acrocanthosaurus_
may have supported an "epaxial musculature" that functioned somehow
in raising its neck and head.
But the spiny ridge of _Spinosaurus_ is so HUGE. (The spines of
_Becklespinax_ are not too far behind.) Such a hump would have been
enormously top-heavy. So, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not too
keen on a hump- backed _Spinosaurus_. For _Ouranosaurus_, sure.
(I'd love to see the illos of this!).