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Re: Sauropod swimming and more

On Tue, 14 Jul 1998, William Gibson Parker wrote:

> Most of us on the list grew up during a time when we were force-fed
> stupid, lumbering dinosaurs, dragging tails, etc... dinosaurs were the
> epitomy of an unsuccessful creature, evolutionary failures.  One of the
> worst ideas to come out of this era was that the Sauropod needed to stay
> submerged to handle the body weight of its enormous size.  Fortunately
> this idea has fallen out of favor.  But now to say that they couldn't swim
> at all due to water pressure is absurd.  These animals existed!!! For long
> periods of time!  Why are all these limitations always put upon these
> animals?  We know just from the immense amount of time that these animals
> roamed the earth that they must have been well adapted to their enviroment
> and to situations that would occur.  In my view, of course Sauropods could
> swim, most land animals can, and they definitely could have at least
> waded.  I think the position of the nasal openings shows these animals
> were capable of this at least.
>       Another note on the nasal openings...relating the size of the head
> to the overall size of the body.  Would that much more submergable
> distance be obtained by moving the nasal area from the front of the skull
> to the top?  What is this a foot maybe?  Seems that there would be another
> purpose for this.  Possible for the mode of drinking as has been mentioned
> in a few posts.
>       Also about Sauropod foot structure not being able to handle soft
> ground...  Of course all land animals avoid deep mud but how successful
> would you be as a large animal if the slightest bit of mud caused you to
> bogg down?  Let's hope there isn't a significant amount of rainfall.
> Surely the foot of a Sauropod was able to spread to deal with this
> problem.
>       Quick note...Sauropods had long necks, they had a range of motion
> with these necks, blood must reach the head, successful animals do not
> faint all of the time...conclusion Sauropods had no problem getting blood
> to the head.  
>       On the Zallinger mural...T-rex as shown must have rubbed his arse
> on the ground when he walked....Also could T-rex swim?????  I'd like to
> see him try to keep his head afloat with his little puny arms!  Maybe he
> avoided the water.
>       Are there any animals who drown when they enter the water???i.e.
> have no ability to swim at all?
> -Bill Parker
> Northern Arizona University
Just adding to my own post that I mention the Zallinger mural to comment
about how now it seems so obvious that this posture is wrong but at the
time it was completely accepted of course.  When I was a kid I never
questioned it, now we know better.  Hindsight is 40/40/