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RE: death pose

In humans at least, litling your head back opens your air way and allows you to breath easier (thats why we do it in CPR) perhaps in tilting their head bac they are trying to breath, getting as much air into thier weakening lungs as possible.
Phil Hore

National Dinosaur Museum

Canberra, Australia

ph (02) 62302655

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>From: "Ken Carpenter" >Reply-To: Kcarpenter@dmns.org >To: , >Subject: death pose >Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2003 20:52:54 -0700 > >I had the most interesting conversation with an ostrich rancher and his wife regarding death poses in the ostrich. Standard dogma, which I had long accepted as true, is that the head and neck pulled back and legs drawn against the body pose of bipedal dinosaurs (especially theropods) due to drying of the nuchal ligaments. I had thought about testing this hypothesis with fresh killed birds, but just never got around to doing it. In fact, I don't think anyone has tested this hypothesis. It as been assumed that drying of the nuchal ligament was the cause. > >This ostrich rancher and his wife have both said that they have ! sa! ! t with a dying ostrich several times. Every time, as the bird nears death it will crouch, legs pulled against the body, and slowly pull its neck back in the "classic" deasth pose of dinosaurs. When it finally dies, it remains in this pose and rigor mortis soon sets in and locks it there. I questioned him about several points of this (being somewhat skeptical), yet the photograph does verify this. It may very well be then, that the so-called death pose in dinosaurs is not due to drying of ligaments, but a natural phenomenon - a pre-death form of rigor mortis. > >Ken

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------ NIHIL  OBSTAT from CMNH ------

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