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Re: Parasaurolophus neck/head flap.

>I've seen a number of conflicting illustrations and animations 
>recently which show Parasaurolophus with a flap of skin connecting >the 
crest to the various parts along the neck. These range from >"Fantasia" 
to the "Dinosaurs Past and Present" volumes so I'm sure >the question 
has been around for a while. I'm curious as to what the >current 
thinking on this is. Is there any evidence of muscle/tissue >scars on 
the crest?

No reason why there should be muscle scars. The current theory that I 
advocate is that the crest was unsupported except by the muscles 
reaching off the axis vertabra of the neck (with the large crest) to the 
top of the back of the skull, behind the crest, but not actually 
touching it.

The crest was free to swing about on the occipital condyle without any 
skin-flap restricting it. This would serve the purpose of giving the 
sideways-oriented eyes a full view of the surroundings, much as deer do.

Such a skin-flap would actually hinder such movements unless it was 
_really_ flexible, but then, what would the point be? A fine honker, 
with tall and narrow tail and body acting like a billboard of possible 
display colors and patterns was all thet would be needed--- why fuddle 
that up with a measly [sic?] 3x2x5 foot sail?

A skin impression, like the edmontosaur and hadrosaur ones that gave us 
wrinkled skin (only now being illustrated and possibly confined to a 
single genus or species) and the saggital "fin" (same as for the 
wrinkles) would confirm or deny either theory.

And what about the short little "circle-crested" *Parasaurolophus 
cyrtocristatus* skull? What would a sail do for it with such a short 
stubby trombone (french horn, more like)?.

Jaime A. Headden

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