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Re: Sauropod Necks



-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Hartman <scott_hartman@hotmail.com>
To: mbonnan@hotmail.com <mbonnan@hotmail.com>; dinosaur@usc.edu
<dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Saturday, July 15, 2000 3:29 AM
Subject: Re: Sauropod Necks


>Matt et al,
>    Matt, you raise an interesting issue; I'm sure that in all sciences
>there is a greater level of skepticismm levelled at ideas that are
>aesthetically displeasing (whether due to true visual aesthetics, or "mere"
>philosophical sensibility).  But I'm not sure that this is (entirely) the
>case with the sauropod neck stuff.  For one thing, try to find a diplodocid
>reconstruction from a reputable paleo-artists from the last 10-15 years
that
>show vertical necks.  Bob Bakker did this with Barosaurus back in the 60's,
>but even he has been restoring diplodocids with horizontal for some time.
>The real debate with diplodocids has been over rearing, and although I
>rather strongly suspect they did, I agree that it needs to be better
>demonstrated.


After staring at the apatosaurus mount...it was a few years back) at the
"new" Museum of natural history display,,,,,(not the rearing Barosaurus in
the main hall), it seemed to make sense that the tail was elevated
completely off the ground, in light of what I`ve heard about the neck being
supported by ligaments that stretched from the neck to the tail over the
back, acting as "suspension" cables. From the length of that neck sticking
out at s slight angle above the horozontal (about 15 degrees???), it seemed
improbable,at the time, that it would be able to rear up onto it`s hind
legs.

Anyway,...I also wanted to mention that there might be a possible connection
between the many "missing heads" of diplodocus fossils, and the fact that
they might have been bitted clean off by large predators as an easy method
of dispatch. This may have been a determining factor in just how high the
head had to be kept elevated in such encounters, and evolution would most
likely have kept this limit at "just above" the reach of the largest
predators at the time. An interesting corollary just occured to me,....this
might also indicate the hight of predators not yet found when studying the
likes of Supersaurus, Seismosaurus,Ultra....(what`s the largest diplodocid
again???).