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Re:PLESIOSAURS:Ballast stones, necks, and noses.

Since plesiosaurs were certainly not vegetarians with enormous guts full of
stuff to be processed, I would imagine that the gastroliths may have
functioned as a type of ballast, although they have been quite rounded by
action in the digestive tract. In South Dakota, where I have worked, stones
have been found in elasmosaurs and polycotylids-never (to my knowledge) in
mosasaurs. I don't know if Ken Carpenter is on this list, but he would be
someone you might want to contact at the Denver Museum of Natural History, as
he is an expert on these matters and has reassembled their elasmosaur
skeleton. Of course, if Darren Naish was still here there would be a very
authoritive 3 or 4 page answer for you. Hope he comes back soon.

Dan Varner