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DASHANPU SAUROPOD TAIL CLUBS



Luis Rey wrote:
<<I haven't seen any mention on the fact that dinosaurs like Shunosaurus,
Omeisaurus and possibly Mamenchisaurus had tail clubs. This is the definitive
proof that sauropods used their tails defensively and offensively. I still
find the cracking sound of and Apatosaurus tail rather irresistible (at least
as a theory).>>

It should be noted, however, that this fact is in grave doubt.  After having
spoken to Paul Upchurch at SVP, he informed me that he was doubtful that any
sauropods besides _Shunosaurus_ had tail clubs.

The reason that Dong had claimed that _Omeisaurus_ had one, is because the
Dashanpu (Xiashaximiao frm) yields two sizes of tail clubs, one small size
which he claims must belong to _Shunosaurus_ (this is true because they have
actually been found attched to _Shunosaurus_ tails), and the larger size which
must belong to something bigger: _Omeisaurus_.  The problem is that no
_Omeisaurus_ has ever been found with a tail club, and there are some
individuals of _Shunosaurus_ that are big enough to have a tail club that big.

Additionally, I don't think that any tail clubs have been found in the
Shangshaximiao frm (which lies directly above the Xiashaximiao).
_Shunosaurus_ is absent from that formation, but _Omeisaurus_ and
_Mamenchisaurus_ are present.

Thusly....  It seems that _Shunosaurus_ is the only known sauropod with a tail
club.  Additionally, the tail club character uniting
_Euhelopus_-_Omeisaurus_-_Mamenchisaurus_ with _Shunosaurus_ in a monophyletic
Euhelopodidae is in doubt, indicating that this family may be paraphyletic,
which in any case, would jive better with most people's cladograms.

Peter Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com

No, Jay Leno's chin is big-boned, you are a big fat ass.