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Re: Regarding Sauropod Necks

> Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 16:12:43 -0500
> From: "Jordan Mallon" <j_mallon@hotmail.com>
> I?m writing with just a simple request (I hope!).  I?ve recently
> opted to do some in-depth research into the physics and mechanics of
> sauropod necks for my OAC (grade 13) physics class independent
> study.  I have found numerous resources both in my own personal
> library and on the Internet, but was wondering if anyone else could
> please point out some more resources that I might have missed, be it
> scientific papers (of which I don?t have any on the subject), links,
> books, etc.


By far the most approachable analyses of dinosaur biomechanics I have
come across are Christopher McGowan's _Dinosaurs, Spitfires and Sea
Dragons_ and R. McNeill Alexander's _Dynamics of Dinosaurs and Other
Extinct Giants_.  The first of these is rather more comprehensive and
detailed than the second, but Alexander's book has a lot of charm, and
(having re-read it very recently) I can tell you that is does address
sauropod necks directly -- for example considering whether a nuchal
ligament could be strong enough to hold up a Diplodocus neck.

(For more of my thoughts on these books, see

> Also, seeing as how most everyone else in my class will be
> fabricating catapults, bridges, and the like, I am also leaning
> towards building a model of my own, illustrating the ?nuts and
> bolts? behind sauropod necks.  Any ideas as to how I might do this?

For this, I direct your attention to another Christopher McGowan book,
_Make Your Own Dinosaur Out of Chicken Bones: Foolproof Instructions
for Budding Paleontologists_.  This one I haven't seen myself, but
everything that amazon has to say about it suggests it's exactly what
you need.  (Plus what a GREAT title! :-)

More information on this one at
depending on whether your British or American.

Hope this is helpful,

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor -- <mirk@mail.org> -- http://www.miketaylor.org.uk/
)_v__/\  Tom Holtz's rule of dinosaur restorations: if you can't fit
         the skeleton inside the model, the model is wrong.