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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_)?

3) _Stenopelix_
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 attacks.


6) _Parasaurolophus_
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 artistic license?)


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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