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Re: Complete Dinosaur Mamenchisaur question



In a message dated 98-01-15 16:44:31 EST, larrydunn@hotmail.com writes:

<< Check again.  There are in fact two illustrations of M. in TCD, one on 
 page 273, the other on page 275.  Both feature a neck-up, giraffe-like 
 M.  I understood that M. held it's neck horizontally, and that this was 
 the only posture possible based on the configuration of the neck 
 vertebrae. >>

The neck of _Mamenchisaurus_ and euhelopodids was probably held more
vertically than it might at first seem. The first two dorsals--the back
vertebrae just behind the base of the neck--show a considerable upturn that is
generally squelched in the poor mounts of these genera. Try to get hold of a
copy of the photo of the _Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis_ skeleton in the ground,
and you'll see the relatively sharp but nonetheless natural upward bend in the
vertebral column at the base of the neck, where the vertebrae drastically
change shape. The cervicals also have tremendously long cervical ribs that
helped to hold the neck in a fixed position no matter what its orientation.