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Re: Parrish's neck work ...
As I understand it, the work in question applies only to Apatosaurus, not
to the entire class of sauropods. Unless the work is considered to be
completely general, it is conceivable that at least some of the Sauropods
utilized the food source represented by the taller trees, if they did not,
it would represent an interest case of evolution leaving a niche unfilled.
In that case one has to ask why.
The hypothesis that Sauropods "grazed" on ferns and low cycads has been
raised before. This work extends it and provides biomechanical models to
> In a message dated 99-04-30 15:24:43 EDT, you write:
> Would there be any evolutionary advantage to having such a long neck, if
> head couldn't be lifted to snack on treetops. It doens't seem logical that
> sauropods would develop as they did, and not be able to lift their heads
> above 10 or 12 feet.
> Certainly! A bison can cut a 2 foot wide swath, but a Diplodocus or
> Barosaurus could cut one 10-20 feet wide. They could devour a maximum amount
> of acreage with a minimum amount of energy expended. Dan Varner.