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Re: Brachiosaur spines?
Steve, "The Armadillo with the Mask" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Paging through the "Complete Dinosaur" at breakfast this
> book BTW, all of you who had a manus in it) and came
> across GSPaul's piccys of Brachiosaur herds with spines going down the
> neck. This is the first time I've seen a brachiosaur or possibly any
> sauropod rendered with these. Obviously Greg wouldn't have rendered them
> this way if there wasn't SOME evidence for it. Is this a relatively
> recent discovery or is it more like the Parasauroplophus neck-flap?
Well, I hope you've got a copy of Currie and Padian's _Encyclopedia of
Dinosaurs_, because this book includes Stephen A. Czerkas' entry on
There you will find that these spines, which lack bony cores, were
recovered from "an undescribed sauropod resembling _Barosaurus_ and
_Diplodocus_." The article includes a skeletal reconstruction of the
diplodocid (with spines), a photograph of one of the dermal spine fossils,
and an illustration of a number of these spines from a variety of angles.
The skeletal reconstruction had also been published in _Science News_,
2/20/93, page 127. The _Science News_ article states that Czerkas
collected fossilized skin impressions and dermal spines from the sauropod
in a Wyoming quarry in 1990, and describes the skin and spines (which
have been up to 18" long in life). _Science News_ also refers the reader
to the December 1992 issue of _Geology_. The "Skin" article includes the
Czerkas, S. A. (1994). The history and interpretation of sauropod skin
impressions. In _Aspects of Sauropod Paleobiology_ (M. G. Lockley, V. F.
dos Santos, C. A. Meyer, and A. P. Hunt, Eds.), _Gaia No. 10. (Lisbon,
The absence of the exceptionally rare dermal spine fossils in other
sauropod specimens doesn't by itself prove whether they would have sported
the spines in life or not, but in the absence of evidence disproving such
spines, Gregory S. Paul has taken the trouble to update a number of his
illustrations by adding the spines.
Ralph Miller III <email@example.com>