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[Fwd: R: Tanystropheus] from Silvio

Peters >> Because there's nothing quite like it today, Tanystropheus
will probably
always remain something of a mystery.

Renesto >> I agree.

Peters >> IMHO, the easiest way to balance such a long neck is
vertically, like
balancing a broom on the tip of your finger.
So place Tanystropheus in that context, place it where it can find food
and, like Buddha and Newton,
you find him at the base of a tree. Either that, or fighting other Tanys

vertically for dominance. Maybe both.

Renesto >> I really love the Buddha comparison :-) But, given that it
wasn't there in search of enlightening or to discover universal laws,
which kind of food would you suggest? small arboreal reptiles or big
insects? I
agree with Tracy Ford that the usual reconstruction of Tanystropheus
skull is quite wrong. It had probably interlocking teeth as to grab
something slippery or "vivacious?" resembling a nothosaur under
this aspect. However I am not comfortable also with an aquatic life,
because I can't see any real adaptation for locomotion in water. Thus,
as you stated, the question remains open. The tail does not look as
a sculling organ. As you suggested, being so wide and heavy at its
proximal portion, it may have shifted posteriorly the center of mass,
for... rearing, you suggest. Maybe, or I could think also for staying
on the shoreline for fishing with the head with the neck just above
water. Mine is a mere wild speculation, however.

Peters >> I haven't seen evidence of prolacertiforms able to lose their

Renesto >> As you may have seen from my reply to Aegyptiacus (Jean
Michel), You are absolutely right. It was Wild's idea that since (in his
opinion) they were lizards or proto lizards, they had to share all

Peters >> No one of the prolacertiform I have seen (Macrocnemus,
Tanystropheus, Langobardisaurus) show fracture planes in the tail

Renesto >> Feel free to share my comments (you, know, I can't) if you

Perhaps I have to be a little mad to discuss about reptiles on Xmas