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Re: SVP Tidbit Wanted
>>> Did anyone see Parrish and Stevens' poster, _Undoing the Death Pose_?
Impressions, comments? Dan Varner. <<<
I talked to Kent somewhat extensively on the topic, and I can say
that he and I disagree on this one. After looking over the CM specimen of
the juvenile Camarasuarus, I would say that while the neck is
twisted along its axis (the direction, not the vertebrae) at the base, the
centra appear to be in good articulation. So while the zygopopheses may
be off, the pose cannot be that far from one the animal could actually
accomplish in life. Kent's thoughts on the subject are that if you can't
empirically prove that the animals neck articulated in an upright pose
(e.g. see the zygopophyses), then the conservative restoration is with the
neck in a horizontal pose. My feeling is that he has been biased by
working primarily on diplodocids. Diplodocids are aberrant, highly
derived sauropods who just happened to flourish on a continent that would
be the first to produce really extensive volumes of fossil collections.
Prosauropod necks could certainly articulated ina n upright posture, and
Kent himself has told me that the chinese sauropods he's looked at appear
to have been able to do so as well. Ergo upright neck posture seems to be
primitive in sauropds, and I would require positive data before assuming a
low slung neck posture about a particular groupd of non-diplodocid
sauropods. Other than this particular specimen, I do think that his
software has deffinant potential.