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Re: Jobaria and the Elephant Commit Suicide

On Fri, 12 Nov 1999, dbensen wrote:
> >>    Yesterday at NGS, Paul Sereno pointed out that Jobaria probably could
> not lift the neck very high from a standing position (deduced from the
> structure of the very complete cervicals), so such a rearing-up maneuver
> might well be the best defense for that all-important, highly fragile head.
> Paul also pointed out the scull as being extremely light and fragile.<<
> Here is a scenario that I like better than 'stomping' or 'looks'.  I can see 
> why
> sauropods would rear in that situation.  Also, and I just thought to this, if
> they reared onto their hind legs for a moment, they could pivot and make a
> sharper, more agile turn than they could otherwise, thereby avoiding a
> predator's jaws.  Apparently, their fore-legs COULD stand the stresses when 
> the
> sauropods descended back onto them.  (however, I still have the mental picture
> of the giant beast lifting its upper body majestically into the air, then
> crashing down onto its forelegs and popping a shoulder), but I guess I am
> thinking of large mammals (which have more weight near the forelimbs, being
> derived from quadripedal ancestors) and not the bottom heavy, biped derived
> sauropods.

Now that's a heck of an idea: fast turning. Carrying this a bit further,
this might aid in bringing the tail to bear as a weapon (if one subscribes
to such).