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Re: Neck flexibility in large theropods

On Monday, March 11, 2002, at 05:47 AM, Christopher Srnka wrote:
I was thinking about the much-maligned dinosaurs of the Jurassic Park
series, and I was wondering about the degree to which theropods would really
be able to twist their heads around; in particular, I am thinking of the
scenes like the first appearance of the Spinosaurus in JP3 where the animal
twists its neck around to grab a running human, its jaws opening on a plane
almost parallel to the ground. How much flexibility could be reasonably
depicted in large theropods?

Although I can't remember the exact scene, it may not be all that bad. Greg Paul - in his book Predatory Dinosaurs of the World - notes that theropod necks were quite flexible, to compensate for the rigidity of the trunk. Spinosaur necks were quite long, so the scene was probably the least of the evils in JP3.

This particular spinosaur had an unusual neck anyway; it was chomped by a T.rex, and didn't show a scratch. A rubber neck of steel!