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RE: Parrish's neck work ...



On Sat, 1 May 1999, Augustus T. White wrote:

> 1)  Perhaps our model of sauropod behavior ought to be that one or a few 
> sauropods establish themselves on a spot, plant their feet and then swing 
> their 
> necks about, stripping everything green within reach until forced to move on 
> by 
> lack of further greens.  The neck then is advantageous because the longer the 
> neck, the less frequently the beast needs to expend the huge amount of energy 
> necessary to move the rest of the body from one place to another.  

I was under the impression that the articulation for the neck at the front
end of the torso in diplodocids faced downwards.  This means that with the
head held high (however high that may be), the neck is U-shaped in
profile.

But in order for a diplodocid to bring its head in close to its body
(which it would have to do to feed on a large ground area without moving),
the animal would have to bend its neck into a rainbow shape (inverted U),
and I'm not sure the neck would be flexible enough for that.

Even aside from that, the right-angled articulation between the neck and
the back of the skull means that a diplodocid with its neck contorted into
a rainbow shape ends up with its head more or less parallel to the
ground--and *upside down*!  Not a very efficient position for feeding,
unless you're a flamingo.

Can anyone else see what I'm trying to say here?

-Nick P