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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
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
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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