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Re: Rearing up on hind legs (was Re: Parrish's neck work ...)
Richard W Travsky wrote:
> On Fri, 30 Apr 1999, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
> > What is
> > >interesting, I think, is the amount of ventriflexion (how far these
> > >sauropods could bend their necks downward) that is possible -- you can
> > >make Apatosaurus bend its neck so that its head is looking up at its
> > >feet!
> > I am curious that no one has mentioned rearing here. If any sauropods
> > could rear, there would be no need for them to flex the neck upward to any
> > degree as the rearing would do that for them - but a considerable degree of
> > ventriflexion might be extremely useful to a rearing sauropod trying to get
> > at some tasty foliage on the far side of a tree. Of course, if rearing was
> > part of their behaviour then Parrish's discovery does not mean that they
> > could not feed in trees - only that they had to rear to do it. (PS - I
> > have not read the paper in Science)
> This has implications besides just feeding.
> Mating, for example. Some sort of rearing capability is needed here.
> Defense. With the neck always so low, it makes for a critical
> What does Parrish's work say about side to side motion? One
> consequence of limited mobility is there are places you can't
> go. Like a thickly forested area, since, with their size,
> maneuvering around trees becomes difficult. (I suppose they
> could knock them down, but this won't work in all cases.)
> This scenario really makes them vulnerable to predators, and
> inclines me to think of sauropods as being better suited
> to more open areas.
> So much for necks. What about tails?
Last year a study was published as a cover story in Discover magazine(I
believe) that had similar theories on sauropod necks. Gregory S. Paul
disputed the findings on Brachiosaurs because the vertebra closest to
the body have never been found, so the computer models could not be
taken as gospel. I feel that there will be more to this as in the DNA
studies on humans that led to the hypothesis about the original Eve in
Africa 100,000 to 200,000 years ago that got all the anthropologists up
in arms a few years ago. More will be revealed.