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Re: galloping sauropods?



Something else of note...For those of you who have read Greg Paul's
article in the most recent Dinofest volume, he mentions that Apatosaursus
has hindlimbs that are strong enough to gallop on.  Off course (and GSP
points this out in paper) Apatasaurus has other anatomical adaptations
that barred it from galloping (see previous posting), but this is
interesting none-the-less.  Perhaps more pertinent, he mentions in the
same paper that the hindlimbs are as strong as those predicted for a biped
of that mass.
     I have no objection to his mass estimate (17 to 18 tonnes, if you
don't have the paper).  I prefer volumetric modelling methods of mass
estimation over those derived from bone strength indicators.  And after
working over the University of Wyomingings specimen, as well as the still
unassembled specimen being prepaed at the Tate museum (light weight casts
are available for study, reply off list), I'm pretty confident that his
restoration is pretty close to dead on.  So ladies and gentlemen, what
does it mean?  Does this shift anyones belief in the jurassic vacuum
ecological niche (low browsing) that's been proposed for them?  I scaled
femur lengths to the two specimens I mentioned above to derive their mass
estimates, and then applied Alexander's formula, and sure enough, they
really do scale as strong as a biped should.  ????

Scott Hartman