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RE: Sauropod spines



There is evidence for narrow, pointed spines on the midline of the back of
some diplodocid sauropods.  Apparently, this was not a part of the backbone
and may have resembled the spines or "comb" seen on the back of the modern
iguana and other lizards, only much taller (up to 22 cm).

I think the evidence comes from the recently re-opened Howe Quarry in
Wyoming where at least nineteen subadult specimens of Diplodocus had
perished at the same time. The evidence of spines, some associated in situ
with the top ridge of the tail, may have been overlooked many years ago when
the spectacular site was originally excavated (1934+).

A ref is:

Czerkas, S. A., "Discovery of dermal spines reveals a new look for sauropod
dinosaurs." Geology (20: 1068-1070), 1993.

This was also reported in New Scientist:
http://rexfiles.newscientist.com/nsplus/insight/rexfiles/spiny.html

--Thom Holmes
dinosaur author at large


-----Original Message-----
From: dbensen [mailto:dbensen@gotnet.net]
Sent: Monday, October 11, 1999 12:08 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Sauropod spines


While we are on the subject of sauropods, why are so many of them being
reconstructed with spines down their backs?  (i.e. Diplodocus in
Walking... and the new Brachiosaurus model).  What are these spines?
Did other sauropods (like, say, Apatasaurus) have them?

Dan