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RE: thanks for tracks & a question

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   RAY D STANFORD [SMTP:STARSONG@prodigy.net]
        Sent:   Tuesday, February 23, 1999 9:27 PM
        To:     jconrad@lib.drury.edu; Dino mailing list
        Subject:        Re: thanks for tracks & a question

        Hello Jack and List,

        Interestingly, one examines the Sauropod trackways already known, we
see that even the most 'wide-gauge' trackways (presumably all from the
Cretaceous) inform us that Sauropods were (considering their length) rather
svelt, slim-bodied animals.  Our most observant artists, such as Greg Paul
and others on this list, are now more accurately portraying sauropods as the
sleek, rather slim-bodied animals they were.
        Perhaps anyone using Sauropod models in volumetric displacement
studies to facilitate calculations of body weight, had better use the newest
slim-bodied versions, to avoid seriously over-estimating Sauropod tonnage.
        Hope this helps someone's knowledge of Sauropods and of the
difficulties and limitations one confronts in the study of their ichnites
here in Maryland.
                Ray Stanford


           Okay, this brought a question to mind that was rattling around in
my head a few weeks ago.  To whit: can anything
        be inferred about dinosaur mass/weight from the prints, aside from
the "wide/narrow" gauge artifact you just mentioned?
        Here, I was thinking of forensic work as the model, in that the
approx. height & weight of a human can be derived from
        shoe size, stride length, & the depth of the tracks.  Now, I realize
that preservation conditions would greatly complicate
        this, as would the question of under track, over track, etc.  But,
nevertheless, it seems intuitively feasible.