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Re: Sauropod Necks

At 06:03 AM 7/16/00 -0400, Larry Febo wrote:
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

Well, yes. _Apatosaurus_ is a rather "fat" diplodocid, and is much more front-heavy than is typical in that family. It is really quite atypical as a diplodocid. It clearly is adapted to a different lifestyle than all of its close kin.

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.

There is really no mystery. The heads are so much smaller than the rest of the bones that they get washed away more easily. Sauropod feet are also quite rare, as are the ends of the tail. All of these are the small bones.

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