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Re: Sauropod Necks

It seems to me that if these sauropods were tilting back on their hind limbs and their tail to reach high vegitation, then their necks would not need to be elevated much past the angle of the back. A neck sticking straight out or a couple degrees higher than the backbone of a tripodal sauropod would still be able to reach a great deal of elevated vegitation.



AIM: TarryAGoat

>From: "Matthew Bonnan"
>Reply-To: mbonnan@hotmail.com
>To: dinosaur@usc.edu
>Subject: Re: Sauropod Necks
>Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 19:34:28 PDT
>I am not an expert on cervical verts in sauropods. Darren Naish
>rightly points out that some mammals (a handful, but still, they
>exist and
>are important outliers) have more or less than 7 cervical verts. My
>understanding of the Giraffe vert count was that it was still up for
>but maybe something has recently changed?
>Scott Hartman and others on the list have quite rightly pointed out
>problems or potential pitfalls, as well as areas that need more
>work, in
>DinoMorph. Neck motion in extant verts, independent testing, etc.,
>are all
>sorely needed before we can more properly apply Di! ! noMorph. I
>suppose one of
>the things I have found interesting (because it was also an initial
>of mine as well) is that so many of us want and like our sauropods
>to have
>more vertically-oriented necks. The question that I throw out
>perhaps rhetorically, is if DinoMorph had shown that sauropods had
>vertically-oriented necks, would as many folks have been as critical
>of the
>research, or demanded to see more testing? Most of us accepted
>sauropod necks before DinoMorph tested neck motion in the two
>Could we be clinging to an aesthetic idea?
>In any case, the fact that a lot of people didn't buy the
>explanation of
>horizontal sauropod necks is a good first step. Skepticism is to be
>in science, if for nothing else than it keeps us honest. It's part
>of the
>corr! ! ective machinery of science I speak of often.
>I am probably a bit defensive of the research (some would probably
>say more
>than a bit =) )because I know both of the researchers well and I
>have some
>ties to it. Plus, I forget sometimes that not everyone on this list
>has had
>the opportunity to see the specimens up close and evaluate things
>themselves. And when people that have had the opportunity to view
>evaluate the specimens disagree, most of us, if not acquainted with
>materials, I suspect would tend to settle for what we are most
>familiar and
>comfortable with. I am just as guilty of this as anyone, and there
>areas of dinosaur paleontology I remain almost wholly ignorant of.
>At the moment, the burden of proof remains on the shoulders of the
>people to continue to show and improv! ! e on the results of their
>hypothesis to
>everyone else. That is what I have always advocated here and have
>tried to
>follow in my own research. (Believe you me, I have some rather odd
>hypotheses about sauropod locomotion and the evolution of various
>structures that I happen to like. Good thing there's peer review
>healthy skepticism!)
>>From what I have seen of the specimens and DinoMorph program, it
>that Diplodocus and Apatosaurus had horizontal necks which sloped
>when in the neutral position. I could be wrong, I could be biased,
>and I
>may be counting some evidence and ignoring other evidence. All of
>this is
>very possible.
>Goodbye for now,
>Matt Bonnan
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