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Re: Sauropods and lung development
Jarno Peschier wrote:
<Maybe just a matter of easy physics: a small "projectile" (=the head)
takes less energy to propel, steer or in short, to control. A wider
net might catch more prey, but is very akward and inefficient at the
end of a long neck. A very small "projectile" at the end of a neck
might maneuver fast enough (within the confines of the space it can
reach because it's attached to the neck and thus to a body that might
not be moving so fast or at all) to catch the quick moving and
direction changing small preys.>
Additionally, the elasmosaur (the long-necked type for plesiosaurs)
skull was narrow snouted and long toothed. Both these features we
equate with birdy, darting behavior, and no darter-type feeder _needs_
to "net" its prey. Look at contemporary forms: dolphins, the sperm
whale, all of which rush at their food before it can escape.
As for the short-necked type of plesiosaur, the pliosaurs (such as
*Kronosaurus*) the sperm whale model might be more accurate. The neck
was not a super long mechanism for darting, as in the anhinga, but
support for the huge skull, which probably caught _huge_ prey (well,
the teeth tell us that, too). But still no dart-effect.
I don't know about the terrestrial or aquatic capabilities of
*Tanystropheus*, so I won't get into that, but there is a non-avian
dinosaur that also (theoretically) employs the darter-effect:
*Coelophysis*; the skull is long, narrow, and many toothed, on a very
long neck. Heck, this animal reads "stork-like" all over, and I am
most reminiscent of marabou storks just jamming away at their prey,
big or small, as they walk along, just nonchalantly ridding the fields
of rodents -- I'm also reminded of locusts.
Jaime A. Headden
Qilong, the website, at:
All comments and criticisms are welcome!
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