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Re: Arboreal Dinosaurs

Dann Pigdon wrote:

>         Does anyone know what vertebrae features distinguish
> prehensile from non-prehensile tails? Do the prehensile forms have
> a ball-and-socket structure like the vertebrae in snakes? Chameleon
> scapulae have been compared to those of some dinosaurs, but what
> about its tail?
> --
> ____________________________________________________
>         Dann Pigdon
>         Melbourne, Australia
     I found a website set up by a John Hopkins School of Medicine
student who is doing research as a graduate student on relationships
between evolution, ecology, biomechanics, and morphology. He has an
abstract on "Biomechanical analysis of caudal vertebrae from prehensile
and non-prehensile tailed teterapods" which was in the Journal of
Vertebrate Paleontology.15(3 suppl):44A.(its at
http://www.med.jhu.edu/FAE/meers/abstracts.html#1995) In it he states 
thatthe distal caudal vertebrae of prehensile-tail animals usually show
increased resistance to bending loads as well as pure axial loads
relative to estimated body mass, while more proximal vertebrae provide
more ambigous results. Read it yourself first, since as Im not quite
sure what it means I may have taken it out of context. Oh, and to clear
up some confusion-my name is Ben Riegler. Gary's my dad and so he is the
guy listed on the address.
                            Hope this info is useful,