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Re: Parrish's neck work ...
In a message dated 4/30/99 12:25:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< The elongate heads with their pencil-like teeth are very weird.
These animals did not chew, but swallowed whatever they ate whole,
because unlike mammals, they have no molars, no canines, etc. It's as
if your mouth were filled entirely with pencil-thin incisors. The
best you could manage would be to snip off things and swallow them.
These teeth don't instantly strike someone as being able to handle
tough, woody foods or even some of the tougher piney plants. Again,
even if the sauropods get their heads up in those trees, how they were
used and what food was available for them to break off and swallow is
difficult to know. >>
Is the habitat these animals lived in established? From reading Bakker, I
thought they were in forested highlands, but a lot of what I've read has been
superceded. If the habitat has been established, has the type and amount of
vegetation of various types been estimated? Are the competitors known, along
with the type of vegetation they would have 'owned'? This would have been
different at different times, but is there an unusully well-documented
I know this type of economic analysis of ecosystems is difficult even today,
but I didn't realize these issues were as unsettled as you imply. I'm also
still wondering about the implication from the tracks discussed in previous
posts that sauropods were unexpectedly svelte. If they were processing so
much vegetation, shouldn't their tracks have been wide apart because of the
digestive vat? Does the narrow track imply that whatever they were eating
was comparatively easy to digest and extract nutrients?
Guess there's no such thing as stare decisis in paleontology. Thanks for
detaching my assumptions, I guess.