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Re: Sauropod neck positions: "High" is a relative term.



On 02/25/98 21:00:26 you wrote:
>
John Wagner wrote: (and to the rest of the list)

>I've heard this idea that sauropods were actually low browsers/grazers
>before.  Didn't make sense to me then, and I'm afraid it still doesn't
>make much sense to me now.  There are a few questions that are just
>crying out for answers.  For example:
>

I have to say that I DID believe the same way you did, but...

>* If all sauropods were low feeders, then why were there so _many_ of
>them, with such a tremendous variety of sizes, head designs, and neck
>lengths?  That sort of variety says to me that they were occupying
>different microniches, and the most obvious microniche for herbivores is
>_food_.  Each sauropod had its own neck and head design to reach its own
>preferred food.  That makes sense if they were browsing at different
>levels of the upper canopy, but not if they were all picking and
>choosing from somewhere down near the ground..
>
Not all sauropods were 'low' feaders. Omeiosaurids had nearly verticle necks 
(until that 
changes), Diplodocids were low feaders, then Camarasaurids and Brachiosaurids 
were higher 
feaders, but not as high as was once believed.

>
>* If sauropods were low feeders, then why did the brachiosaurs develop
>such long forelimbs? 

Because brachiosaurids WERE NOT low feeders. They held there neck about half 
the height that is 
usually depedicted (this is not a new idea, S & S. Czerkas had it this way in 
their Dinosaurs; a 
global view). I thought this is wrong, but now I don't.

If the cervical vertebrae will not allow the neck to be held high, then it was 
NOT held high. 
You can't get away from that.

I really hope this didn't come out as being rude, that was not the intention.

Tracy