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Re: Elasmosaur necks (was mamenchisaur necks)
In a message dated 98-07-22 16:43:30 EDT, you write:
<< Her theory (and she argued it convincingly): the elasmosaur would lay
with its body amidst the bottom rocks and using its long slender neck
would stealthily poke its head into schools of fish much closer to the
surface so that the bow wave would be little larger than that produced
by a fish itself. Then it would have seafood. >>
I haven't talked to Judy about this, or heard her talk, but there are many
ideas "floating" around these days as to the mobility of elasmosaur necks.
Judging from the rather large size of the neural spines, my guess would be
more emphasis on motion in a horizontal plane that Ray speaks to. Plus, good
luck finding rocks on the bottom of the Niobrara or Pierre Shale sea bottoms!
Giant clams, maybe. Ambush scenarios involving air-breathers in deep water
make me nervous.
There needs to be a good computer analysis of plesiosaur neck movement ala
Parrish and Co. for sauropods. Sam Welles opted for a large range of movement
while, I hear through the grapevine, Chris McGowan believes in a much stiffer
and straighter configuration. There's just too much wiggle room here. Sorry.