[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Ceratopsians: sprawling or straight?

>Date: Fri, 19 Dec 1997 15:45:31
>To: rjmeyer@ix.netcom.com
>From: Daniel Varner <danvarner@worldnet.att.net>
>Subject: Re: Ceratopsians: sprawling or straight?
>At 12:26 AM 12/19/97 +0000, you wrote:
>>Larry Dunn writes;
>>>I know Greg Paul says they couldn't have sprawled because trackways 
>>>prove otherwise.
>>Actually, this is not true.  Recently, Bruce Erickson and another
researcher did a thorough study of the Triceratops mount in the Science
Museum of Minnesota.  These two took a tape measure to the skeleton and took
a series of measurements between all of the feet.  Using this information
they were able to reconstruct the trackway that their Triceratops would
make.  The dimentions of this trackway fall well within established
parameters (I'm sure copies are available if you ask nicely ;^).
>>> But hasn't it been determined that it 
>>>would've been physically impossible for ceratopsians (or ceratopians, if 
>>>you're so inclined) to fit their legs under their torsos in a rhino-like 
>>>manner?  How much of this is a Bakkeristic "they were like rhinos 
>>>because they are cooler that way?"
>>Personally, I have yet to see a skeleton of an upright-forelimbed
ceratopian.  Every one that I see has a dislocated look, IMHO.  The limbs
simply don't appear like they would have functioned efficently.
>>For the skeleton of a sprawling-forelimbed ceratopian, the bones fit
together nice and snug.  Also, take a look at the shoulder joint: there is a
triangular-shaped process of bone on the scapulacoracoid that matches up
perfectly with a similar process on the humerus.
>>For the best analysis of the forelimb that I have seen to date, see:
>>Johnson, R. E., Ostrom, J. H.  1995.  "The forelimb of Torosaurus and an
analysis of the posture and gait of ceratopsian dinosaurs."  Functional
Vertebrate Paleontology.
>>Rob Meyerson
>>Early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
>>Dear Rob, I agree with you completely. I hate to be an obsessive,
crybaby-type Pete Von Sholly character, forever whipping a dead horse, but
this is exactly what I've been saying for years. Enlarge Lockley's diagram
of the Golden, Colorado tracks to life size on a giant piece of paper then
get a crane and lift Bruce Erickson's Triceratops up just a smidge, slide
the now giant diagram directly beneath the skeleton, lower away and there
you go. Maybe we can get the Dinosaur Society to pony up the dough to
actually do this.
> Greg Paul has a paper coauthored with others that will deal with this
subject in press and I understand that a presentation will be made by
stellar authorities on tracks as well as ceratopsians at the next DINOFEST .
This topic still has legs!
> With apologies to PVS,
> Dan Varner