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Re: Vertebral spines on sauropods...

In a message dated 12/12/98 9:37:05 PM EST, theclaw@sprintmail.com writes:

<< Also, about spines forming spikes, I don't think any
 other animal had spikes formed directly from vertebral bones, but several
 stegosaurs had spikes/plates in varying combinations, and I haven't heard too
 many people wanting to stretch a sail along their backs. >>

Stegosaur spines and plates are dermal structures, not skeletal structures as
in _Amargasaurus_. As far as I know, _Amargasaurus_ neural spines show no
rugosity or blood grooves or other evidence of a horny covering (unlike stego
plates), which they would require to function as individual spines. Most
likely the whiplike and straplike (they're not at all robust) elongated neural
spines supported a pair of fins along the neck that became a single tall ridge
somewhere down the back.