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A Whole Bunch Of Questions
1) Sail or Muscle???
In _Suchomimus_, there seem to be some pretty tall neural spines on the
vertebrae above its hips... is there evidence for either a sail or for a
hump of muscles? It does seem interesting that most of us still prefer to
see our spinosaurs & ouranosaurs with sails instead of humps... what
evidence is there for these dinosaurs not to have humps? (I still prefer
mine with sails thank you.)
Same with _Acrocanthosaurus_... would it have a low sail along its neck &
back or just a huge bunch of muscles?
2) _Chaoyangsaurus_ Age
What is the age of _Chaoyangsaurus_ (or is it _ChaoyangOsaurus_)?
What is _Stenopelix_? Basal ceratopsian, basal pachycephalosaur, basal
marginocephalian, basal what?
4) Hadrosaur necks
I've noticed a few hadrosaur restorations where thelong thin neck is buried
under this thick neck just like that of a horse's. I've also seen this trend
in a few of Greg Paul's artwork and in the silhouettes of his skeletal
reconstructions. Personally, I think my hadrosaurs look better with thin
necks, but hey, what do I know? But anyway, does the evidence point towards
thin necks, thick ones, or somewhere in between. Does Leonardo the
_Brachylophosaurus_ tell us anything?
5) Hadrosaur skin
I often notice that many restore hadrosaurs with a thin frill of skin along
their necks & backs. I've also seen an equal number of hadrosaur
restorations with a row of bumps or spines along the back. Do the hadrosaur
mummies or skin impressions point to either one being more plausible than
the other? I've always thought that a dorsal frill would be subject to much
damage through abrasion, sharp vegetation as well as failed predator
While we're on hadrosaur skin, is there actually evidence that
_Parasaurolophus_ possessed a flap of skin that extended from the end of
its crest down along its neck or is it purely conjecture (& a stroke of
7) Marine reptile breeding
For those among you in the know... is it possible that the smaller
plesiosaurs/ pliosaurs/ plesiosauroids were able to haul themselves up onto
the beach & lay eggs? I know that it seems pretty implausible that
elasmosaurs, kronosaurs & the like were able to do so, but what about the
smaller critters like polycotylids or say, anything the size of _Archelon_ &
below? (How heavy was _Archelon_ anyway? And I'm pretty sure it HAD to lay
eggs.) Anyone know how the basal sauropterygians like nothosaurs,
pachypleurosaurs, pistosaurs & placodonts produced young? And is there
actual fossil evidence that plesiosaurs gave live birth (like in the
ichthyosaurs & _Plioplatecarpus_ specimens?) I've got a suspicion that maybe
the basal ones laid eggs but maybe the more derived ones like elasmosaurs,
cryptoclidids & pliosaurids were ovoviviparous, with maybe smaller derived
forms like polycotylids or rhomaleosaurs reverting back to egg-laying. Or is
this all actually just a grey area where nobody knows the answers (yet?)
Could the basal ichthyosaurs like _Utatsusaurus_ or _Chaohusaurus_ laid eggs
or would giving birth be a trait possibly present in the ancestors of even
these primitive ichthyosaurs?
And as for mosasaurs, what are the odds that not all mosasaurs gave birth
like _Plioplatecarpus_? After all, different species in the same family can
have varied methods of producing young (like in the lacertid lizards or
colubrid snakes) & sometimes it differs even within species; for example,
the viviparous lizard (_Lacerta viviparus_) of Europe gives birth in the
northern part of its range but lays eggs like the other _Lacerta_ species in
warmer climates? So is it possible that modes of reproduction among the
mosasaurs was as varied then? (Maybe the smaller, more basal ones like
_Halisaurus_ being egg-layers with the larger ones being ovoviviparous with
the giant _Mosasaurus_ or _Tylosaurus_ being fully viviparous? Who knows...
P.S Just had a thought... if mosasaurs practised intra-uterine cannibalism
like some sharks species do today, where one embryo in each ovary gets
nutrition by feeding upon its siblings, until birth produces only 2 young, 1
from each ovary. Whoah...
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