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Re: Parrish's neck work ...



In a message dated 4/30/99 12:25:18 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
Z966341@wpo.cso.niu.edu writes:

<< 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superceded.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 
period? 
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.