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Re: Sauropod Tails (The beginning of the end...?)
Betty Cunningham wrote:
> Richard W Travsky wrote:
> <<The problem I've had with this whole thread is how the sauropod could aim.
> <<How much mobility and flexibility is there in the neck such that whipping
> <<tail would be anything more than hit or miss? Smacking at random is one
> <<cracking like a whip with intent and accuracy is quite another.
> My problem with this whole thread is that if they were tree browsers, where
> would they
> have room to go whipping their tail around in?
> Maybe vertically?
In which case, add a prehensile tip (oh no, you say, again with the
prehensile tails!) and there would be no need to raise the head
up very far. Just tear down a few branches with the tail and feed
on them from ground level. If diplodicid tails were physically
capable of bending when an animal reared up (for mating or particularly
high branches), then they must have had some degree of vertical
movement. In which case the long neck may be a secondary feature to
counterbalance the more important tail (just as Michael Crichton
mentions, presumably from a scientific source, in "The Lost World").