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Re: Sauropod Tails (The End...and a bit more)



On Tue, 9 Dec 1997 17:48:00 -0800 Rod Bartlett writes:
(regarding the ends of the tail on Knob-tailed gekkos  (_Nephrurus_,
various species)
>What is the anatomical make up of the knob, is it a fleshy protuberance
or
>has it got an expanded bone core?
It is a fleshy protuberance at the extreme end of the tail.  Although the
exact purpose has never been identified, I offer the following quote:
"...have now been observed to crouch close to the ground and wave the
knob on the tip of their tails in what appears to be a luring motion. 
This bvehavior was only seen when other small lizards were present. 
under captive conditions, this behavior was very effective in luring
juvenile leopard geckos close enough to be seized and eaten.  While they
will actively hunt for prey, they will also crouch in an 'ambush'
position and wait for prey to appear.  The tail is also seen to twitch in
excitement as the gecko rushes forward to grab a food item, but this
behavior is quite distinct from the 'luring' behavior..."
Wagner, Ernie and Lazik, Casey,  "Husbandry and Reproduction of 
Australian Geckos of the genus  _Nephrurus", Reptiles magazine, May 1996,
Fancy Publications, Boulder Colorado.
To bring this otherwise off-topic quote around, I sincerely doubt that
this holds any analogy for the uses of sauropod tails, sauropods after
all, being vegetarian...
-zenlizard

"People loaded with goodwill,
giving presents 'what a thrill',
that slushy nonsense makes me ill,
I hate christmas!"                                               -Oscar
the Grouch