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Re: [PALEONEWS:Newly Discovered Dinosaur May Have Been Biggest]


    Alright, I just have one quesiton, and one question only: How did that
thing lift it's head in the first place? Did it just have super--strong neck
muscles or something? Tiny airsacks or no, that would still take quite a bit
of strength to do that! Maybe that orthodox theory about the sauropods living
in water wasn't too far fetched after all.......

                                     From the shadows,

Betty Cunningham <bettyc@flyinggoat.com> wrote:
> Yahoo! News  Science Headlines
> http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/19991102/sc/science_dinosaur_1.html
>  Tuesday November 2 12:21 PM ET 
>  Newly Discovered Dinosaur May Have Been Biggest
>  OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Recently discovered dinosaur remains are of a
> creature so tall that it could have looked into a sixth-floor window and
> may have been the largest creature ever to walk the earth,
> paleontologists at the University of Oklahoma said Tuesday.
>  Weighing 60 tons, standing 60 feet tall and boasting the longest neck
> in the fossil record, the creature probably made the earth shake when it
> walked, prompting scientists to name it Sauroposeidon, which translates
> as ``Earthquake God Lizard''.
>  ``It's truly astonishing. It's arguably the largest creature ever to
> walk the earth,'' paleontologist Richard Cifelli told Reuters.
>  Cifelli headed a team that examined bones unearthed in southeastern
> Oklahoma in 1994. Their findings are due to be presented in the March
> issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
>  The neck bones of the creature are each about four feet long, Cifelli
> said. When they were first cataloged, Cifelli said he thought they might
> be
> the trunks of prehistoric trees. But closer examination revealed that
> they belonged to a larger relative of the better-known Brachiosaurus,
> which was about 45 feet tall.
>  ``The neck on our creature is about a third longer than that of the
> Brachiosaurus,'' said Mathew Wedel, a paleontology graduate student who
> researched the creature for Cifelli. ``It's a lot longer and a lot more
> specialized.''
> Sauroposeidon was giraffe-like in shape, with a short body and long
> neck, but was 30 times larger than the largest giraffe ever known. 
> Scanning the fossils with computerized equipment at the university's
> hospital revealed the massive bones were filled with tiny air cells that
> lightened the load the creature had to carry.
>  It would be very hard to imagine that a neck could get much longer and
> still function, Cifelli said.  ``No matter how small the dinosaur's
> brain was, just lifting it up was a challenge,'' Cifelli said. ``It's
> remarkable how large the bones are.''
>  The length of the creature's neck also may give clues about how it
> lived in the environment of its times, about 110 million years ago.
> Sauroposeidon inhabited the delta of a massive river system, perhaps a
> prehistoric version of the Mississippi, when Oklahoma was the shore of a
> Gulf of Mexico that covered most of Texas.  Sauroposeidon may have eaten
> the leaves from the tops of trees. As large as it was, the creature was
> unlikely to have many predators, Cifelli said.
>  The species was among the last of the large dinosaurs.
>  ``This guy is an Edsel,'' Cifelli said. ``He's an old design. By this
> time, that body plan is just not working anymore. By the time this guy
> comes along, they are dying out in North America. He is pretty much the
> last of his kind.'' 
> -- 
> Flying Goat Graphics
> http://www.flyinggoat.com
> (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology member)
> -------------------------------------------<,D,><

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