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Re: Question about Sauropod Nostril Placement
Good question, John. The position of the nares on
basal sauropds and possible prosauropod-like ancestors
was much more anterior, which makes it hard to explain
why the bony naries would change to a more posterior
location when an anterior position was supposedly more
functional. The best idea I can think of is that a
sauropod in the act of drinking could maintain a
head-down position, with its muzzle immersed below the
water surface, and still breathe if its nares were
retracted posteriorly. This would have minimized the
amount of head raising and lowering experienced by an
animal which had to deal with drastic changes in
circulatory pressure, giving it time to "tank up" on
water while it simultaneously allowed the nostrils to
be above the surface for breathing.
--- email@example.com wrote:
> If the nostrils of Diplodocus,Brachiosaurus,and
> all other sauropods were
> at the end of their snouts as Larry Witmer
> suggests,then why did they evolve
> with their noses on the top of their heads?
> John Bridgman
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