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RE: Prehistoric Times (Tanystropheus, rigor mortis)

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Skrepnick [mailto:palaeopaint@dinosaursinart.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 11:50 PM
To: Dinosaur List; dino.hunter@cox.net
Subject: Re: Prehistoric Times (Tanystropheus, rigor mortis)

*** Here's another alternative theory I don't think has been mentioned as
yet.  Is it possible that if these animals died somewhere out in the water,
that when they eventually sunk to the bottom, head and neck oriented
downwards during the descent, that upon making contact with the sediment at
the bottom, the body just collapses over top of the neck and head, creating
this unusual "posture"?  So that this might be an artefact of the
post-mortem / burial process, rather than being related to rigor?

>>I'm suggesting that the body collapsed on top of the neck and head Tracy,
because in your skeletal drawing, a number of post cranial elements (right
humerus, right femur, right tib/fib AND left tib/fib-metatarsals which
appear to be articulated to the left femur and therefore an intact and
undisturbed limb when buried) seem to ALL be overlaying the cervical series
( implying the neck lay beneath the body), which differs from your life
restoration, in which you show the neck passing behind the right forelimb(as
in your skeletal drawing), but forward and ahead off the lower extremities.
It looks to me like when this animal was sinking towards the bottom its
neck, body and tail formed a graceful offset loop, like if you snipped a
section out of a wire coil. Upon reaching the bottom, I think the neck made
contact first and the most flexible articulation where the proximal most
cervical attaches the neck to the body, allowed the "weight" of the body to
rest, belly up, over the head and neck.<<

Interesting visual. But you gotta admit, the drawing is kind of cool...

Mike S.

Tracy L. Ford
P. O. Box 1171
Poway Ca  92074