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RE: Sauropod Necks As Weapons



Richard W Travsky wrote:

> Both neck and tail no doubt could have been used. The problem with the
> tail usage is being able to see the target to hit effectively.

You mean, a _Diplodocus_ would not be able to see (or smell?) a 2-ton
_Allosaurus_ approaching its flank?  How short-sighted were these sauropods?
:-)

> The vulnerability of the neck might be overstated.

Sure, why not use the neck to "thagomize" an attacking predator, out of
sheer desperation?  But, otherwise: was it worth the risk?  An attempted
bludgeoning of a predator with the neck put both the esophagus and trachea
in harm's way.  

Of course, since this qualifies as dinosaur behavior, we're skating on thin
ice.  But ask yourself: Does the sauropod neck show any adaptations for
offense?  Does the sauropod tail show any adaptations for offense?  I would
contend that the narrow and elongated distal caudals (terminal "whiplash")
of many sauropods, and the club-like distal caudals of at least one sauropod
indicate some form of *specialization* for an offensive capability for the
tail.



Tim


Tim