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Re: Resting Sauropods

David Krentz wrote:
> While we're all letting our noodles drift from little therapods to   > Giant 
> Sauropods I'd like some to hear some educated guesses         > regarding how 
> they rested. Did they lie down, or stand up. Do you   > think they could lie 
> around in water/mud like modern elephants and  > hippos? How could they stand 
> up if they were lying on their sides?  > Would such a reclined pose put a lot 
> of stress on their internal    > organs? Perhaps they kneeled like elephants( 
> there goes that obvious > assumption again). What problems does a columnar 
> leg structure pose > to lying down or kneeling, or what benefits are gained 
> if they slept > standing up? Thoughts, opinions, anecdotes?

Mark Hallett, in his illustration of _Dicraeosaurus_ in DINOSAURS: A
GLOBAL VIEW, depicted a sauropod kneeling elephant-like at the water's
edge, obviously about to drink. This seems reasonable to me (if
unnecessary). While sauropods are *not* elephants, they are indeed
similarly built. Several other sauropods in the painting, however, are
wallowing, one on its side in the water. This I'm not so sure about. How
do mammals get into these types of positions? I always thought it was
because the lumbar vertebrae allow the lower spine to twist. Do
dinosaurs have lumbar vertebrae? Depictions of theropods and ceratopians
reclining cat-like/cow-like on their sides have always bothered me for
this reason, since without lumbar vertebrae, I wouldn't have thought
that position possible for them. Comments?

Brian (franczak@ntplx.net)