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Re: Re[Re:Sauropod Neck]



Chris wrote:

>There is very little flexibility in the neck of most sauropods. In fact,
many scientists believe that they were not good ground foragers. Instead,
they were more accustomed to finding a particular patch of food, then feed
in that one spot, because the vertebrate did not allow the neck much
flexibility to move around.  Anyone have any addition thoughts?<

The recently published works on sauropod necks are >really< interesting and
have proven to be very inspiring in terms of speculation about the feeding
behavior of these creatures. But I simply find it hard to accept, from a
"gestalt" point of view, that the long necks of these animals had such
limited range of motion.  I can't think of any modern vertebrate analog with
more than 8 cervical vertebrae that have anywhere near the limited range of
motion proposed by some for sauropods.  Has anyone applied the osteological
methods used to evaluate sauropod neck mobility to the cervical vertebrae of
modern long necked birds or even long necked mammals?  Every day I drive
past a farm with a small flock of Emus and a small herd Alpacas--both of
which are long neck species with necks that have at least a 270 degrees of
motion in all planes.  As far as I can tell, sauropods would be unique among
the archosaurs--and among vertebrates for that matter-- in having such a
limited range of neck motion.  Perhaps speculation from fossilized cervical
vertebrae is correct and they were limited in that fashion, but if they were
I think the question is what advantage did that offer, rather than how they
survived with that "limitation".

PTN