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Re: Sauropod Necks



This brings up a question that I can't quite get a grasp on, but the idea,
at least, is floating around in my head.

<snip>
> > All well-known animals with long necks use them for one purpose - access
to
> > elevated food sources.
>
> Giraffes use their necks for fighting and courtship.
<snip>
> I would say feeding is the primary purpose.

One would probably say (I think..) that the giraffe *evolved* a long neck
for feeding, and has since found it useful for other purposes, like an
elephant hosing itself down with its trunk.  Are there any modern animals
that have special adaptations with multiple uses, to the point that
scientists can't tell which use the adaptation was first meant for?

And can finding multiple uses for these adaptations be an evolutionary
advantage?

Questions from a sadly un-caffeinated brain.

Andrea Kirk
Undergraduate
Computer Science and Japanese Language
University of Maryland