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Gillette hypothesises that the type and only known specimen of
_Seismosaurus hallorum_ died after choking to death on a big stone.
Patrick Norton, I think, wrote...
> I remember that grin. And next time that documentary is aired, take
> a close look at the alleged "choking" stone. It appeared to me to
> be as rounded and polished as the other supposed gizzard stones.
> Difficult to explain if the stone never made it to the gizzard.
Well, as I understand it, Gillette says that sauropods stored stones
in two places - in their crop (located at base of neck) and in their
gizzard. Apparently the taphonomy of _Seismosaurus_ shows that the
stones burst from both locations during decomposition. As for the
roundedness of the supposed 'choking' stone, how polished it was may
be irrelevant as the animal may have been picking up rounded stones
in any case. It has been implied that the 'choking' stone was found
in the crop or cranial to it. As you can see from the photos, it's a
good deal bigger than the others in the assemblage.
A random thought.. supposed moa gastroliths were verified as being
moa gastroliths because the light-scattering properties of
gastroliths differ from those of (otherwise indistinguishable)
polished stones. Has anyone thought of extending this method to other
dinosaurs? The moa work was published in _J. Paleo_.
"Look at the size of that thing!"