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Re: Suchomimus Photos Posted Online

Martin Human wrote:
> Hmm, not convinced about the spines supporting a sail....it seems to me that
> they would better serve as muscle attachments to hold the animal more rigid
> when poised in a head down posture watching the water for fish (if that's
> what it did). It would certainly need to keep its arms free even while in
> this position, to grab prey. And if it didn't, why bother with the claws?

To ward off other theropods? I've always imagined the narrow spinosaur
skull would not have made a good defensive weapon. I could see it
snapping off, just as happens sometimes when crocs fight each other.

The main problem I have with the forelimbs being used to catch fish is
that, if the animal was bent down far enough for them to be able to
reach, that long head and neck would already be in a better position.
Plus using the head rather than the forelimbs it would have been able to
actually see what it was doing. I suspect it had better and more
manouverable reach with its head than its forelimbs, hence perhaps the
reason for the highly specialised head shape.

If the skull had evolved as a specialised food gathering tool that was
no longer useful for active defense, then perhaps the huge thumb claws
and vertebral display developed as another means of defense (either
active or display-oriented).

        Dann Pigdon
        GIS Archaeologist
        Melbourne, Australia

        Australian Dinosaurs: