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Why did birds develop more flexible necks (I presume this is what the loss
of overlapping cervical vertebral processes means)?  Preening requirements?

Jaime said:<qilongia@yahoo.com>Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 23:01:47 -0800 (PST)

 >Dromaeosaurid dorsal neural spines are short, moreso cranially than
>caudally, and robust rather than thin and blade like; they would have
>good resistance to lateral bending forces, moreso cranially than
>caudally. Additionally, the back musculature, as inferred from
>vertebral processes, would have been robust enough to reduce the
>lateral exposure of the dorsal spines in life; they would have been
>about one-third buried in flesh, and almost invisible except for the
>ridge posteriorly, almost unnoticeable anteriorly becuase of the
>strong scapular musculature.
 > It is then improbable that rolling would have injured these animals'
>dorsal neural spines.

Maybe the "squared-off ribs at the rear of droms and troods" would help here