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Re: Question about Sauropod Nostril Placement



On Thu, Dec 25, 2003 at 05:01:15PM +0100, David Marjanovic scripsit:
> > Everything proposed for sauropod diet is sharp and prickly; perhaps
> > moving the nostrils back facilities getting them painfully stabbed in
> > the tender lining of the nose less often.
> 
> The tender lining of the nose _was_ at the front end of the skull. Just the
> bony nares weren't. Remember Witmer's paper from 2001 in Science?

Well, no, I don't, though I remember the general discussion of it
here. 

The range of nostril shapes you get is still presumably greater if the
bony nares are further back and the shape constraints are all soft
tissue; you can make them point -- what the heck is the proper opposite
of 'rostrally'?  caudally? -- even if they're at the front, or provide
mechanisms to close them entirely.

> > It don't know if anyone's suggested 'the skull handles biting stress
> > better that way', but that would be the fairly obvious one; even
> > incremental improvements would be important if you're in a
> > food-intake constrained growth race to breeding age with all the
> > other sauropods.
> 
> Sounds interesting... should be easily testable nowadays.

Lots of work for somebody, I'd think.  Lots of modelling work to get to
being able to have an opinion on how the cropping motion works, just for
starters.

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