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Re: MAMENCHISAUR NECKS



    Thanks for your post as dated below:

From: Brian Franczak <franczak@ntplx.net>
To: RAY D STANFORD <STARSONG@prodigy.net>
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Wednesday, July 22, 1998 5:02 PM
Subject: Re: MAMENCHISAUR NECKS

    You make some good points which I shall ponder.  While I've gotta be
attending some other tasks today, there is one of your points I'd like to
extrapolate on, via a question:




>....the Late Jurassic Morrison Formation is *full* of long-necked
>sauropods: _Diplodocus_, _Apatosaurus_, and _Barosaurus_ just to name a
>few. The Morrison is described as "seasonally dry" and "extremely arid
>at times" (Terrestrial Ecosystems through Time/1992), so where are the
>lakes/swamps deep enough for all these sauropods to go swimming in?


    Actually my speculation concerned Mamenchisaurus, specifically, and not
the Morrison sauropod fauna.  But, even, there, your quote marks (Can you
tell me the quote's reference?) enclose, "seasonally dry" and, "extremely
arid at times".  Whatever their source (the quotes), please note the
modifiers, "seasonally" (dry) in the first, and, "at times" in the second.
Hasn't there been some informed speculation that sauropods may have migrated
(to avoid the dry season?)?  And "at times" could make a reference to almost
anywhere, at times :-).

    Then too, did you ever wonder about the vast quantity of water sauropod
blood must have contained?  If sauropods were not migratory, I doubt there
was adequate moisture to sustain vitality in a desert.   Theropods might
have sustained  themselves (in a desert) from the water in sauropod blood,
but where would those gigantic sauropods get their water in a desert?  I'm
told by one of the scientists involved in those spectacular Middle Jurassic
track (and bone) finds attracting so much attention out west this summer,
that sauropod trackways are involved (of course, there are the theropod
tracks and still others of great interest) , and it seems that these were
made in wet soil.  So, let's look at all sides of the water issue with
sauropods.There was, I am told, no paucity of water there.

    Sorry that's all I have time for on this today.  Again, we may differ,
but I appreciate your thoughtful analysis.

    Ray Stanford