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Re: Sauropod Necks



At 07:16 PM 7/10/00 -0700, bruceshillinglaw@netzero.net wrote:
probably could not. The question is, when would they do it? It seems like a
pretty energy-intensive way to reach the goodies, and most of the vegetation
available was pretty low energy stuff, so they might have reserved this kind
of exertion for special occaisons. ...

Elephants have been seen rearing up to get at foliage. This sort of behavior is not that energy intensive with an animal like _Diplodocus_ with a properly placed center of mass.


    Imagine this, though - *Mamenchisaurus*, with its long neck, standing
nearly still or moving very slowly forward, sweeping its head from side to
side in vast arcs - gulping mouthfuls of veggies from a huge area, while
expending very little energy at all. The world's first combine harvester!

I have heard this before, and continue to find it unconvincing. What other group of land animals has developed an analogous feeding mechanism? I can think of none. To my mind this makes its value doubtful, as I would think it would have evolved more than once if it were truly useful.


All well-known animals with long necks use them for one purpose - access to elevated food sources.

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May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com