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Re: sauroponderings (was (no subject) )
> I think that Martin et al are correct in assessing the abilities of the two
> major neck bracing systems of sauropods as effective adaptations to supporting
> the neck horizontally, but I disagree that this would not be effective in
> holding the neck in a subvertical position as well for feeding.
Indeed. A sauropod didn't have to hold its head up high constantly to
feed. All it had to do was reach up momentarily, grab a branch, and tear
it off. Then it could feed at its leasure with its head at a more
comfortable lower height. Elephants also do this. Why pluck leaves
individually from up high when you can simply rip off a whole branch -
or knock down the tree entirely - and feed more comfortably?
I've always thought that it would have been handy for diplodocids to
have prehensile tail tips. Then they could use the tail to tear down
branches without ever having to raise their heads (regardless of whether
they were capable of doing so or not).
Dann Pigdon Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/