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Re: Complete Dinosaur Mamenchisaur question



Larry Dunn wrote:

>I just received The Complete Dinosaur today, and noted that the 
>Sauropods chapter features several depictions of Mamenchisaurus 
>holding its neck up. I understood that the evidence that M. held its 
>neck straight out is quite strong. I haven't read the book yet, of 
>course, but am curious to see if the neck posture of M. is 
>controversial.

There is only one *Mamenchisaurus* illustration (Greg Paul's) in that 
book. The other dinosaur in similar position was *Euhelopus* (the less 
compelte illustration), Mamenchi's direct ancestor. A study recently, 
about 1995/6, had structural engineers study *Mamemchi- saurus'* neck to 
see how far it could bend when it had 4 meter long cervical struts 
locking its neck nearly strait. This study, which I believe was on the 
show NOVA, showed that the neck could bend a total of about 20° to the 
side, and nearly vertical at the base of the neck, while the individual 
bones could only flex the neck upward to about 10°, much less than in 
any other sauropod. I may have some of the refs wrong, but I'm pretty 
sure this is correct. *Euhelopus*, via the article in _Discover_ (Nov, 
1997), the much-discussed one that mentioned tail-whips by Mhyrvold, 
could side-to-side flex his neck to a much greater degree, almost 
touching his ribs with his nose. The verticle flex was not mentioned, 
and neither was the tilt at the base, so I wouldn't really know that 
without seeing the fossils themselves.

And speaking of which, has anyone seen "The Relic"? It features in the 
museum a sauropod skeleton that appears to be *Euhelopus* to me.

Jaime A. Headden

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