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Re: sauropod necks-buckaroobwana is back! ha ha ha ha ha !!

On Wed, 6 Oct 1999 21:23:52 EDT Buckaroobwana@aol.com writes:
> This has probably been discussed before, but could sauropods raise
> necks up into a vertical position? I have read that the structure of 
> vertebrae prohibits this, but it seems unlikely to me. Why is there do
> doubt about the possibility of warm-blooded sauropods? It seems more  
> plausible than either bulk endothermy or bulk homeothermy. Any 
> response would be appreicated

   Neck posture really depends on the sauropod in question.  Diplodocids,
for example, appear to have been constrained to relatively low necks (I
think I read somewhere, probably an old "Discovery" issue, that
*Diplodocus*'s neck is aligned best in a posture that holds the head
about a half-foot from the ground, according to some computer models)
while *Camarasaurus* is a sauropod that looks to have been naturally
vertically directed, and *Brachiosaurus* probably was too, even though
some of the neck vertebrae crucial for the models that analyze neck
flexibility are missing.  On a personal note, I wouldn't be surprised if
these neck posture differences are linked to feeding preferences, at
least in the Morrison sauropods, because teeth shape corresponds well to
the neck posture modeled.
   As for metabolism, well...I don't know what sauropods really were, but
the sheer size of sauropods creates some overheating problems in the
minds of some workers.  That's the first argument I'd think of against
sauropods as straight warm-bloods.  That and their food consumption.  I
think, however, you can build up support for a lot of positions on their

> Thanks,
> Buckaroobwana

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