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Re: Weak Necks?
--- Danvarner@aol.com wrote: > Retry:
> I'll leave it to experts like Dr. Carpenter to
> comment on the myology of
> plesiosaur necks. It is my "gut feeling"(which gets
> bigger with each passing day)
> that there is a concensus of opinion that the
> old-style restorations of
> long-necked plesiosaurs lifting their heads high
> above the waves ALA Knight,
> Zallinger and Burian and even as recently as Sibbick
> are highly unlikely (but those
> images sure were cool!). I'm certain they were
> happier in the nearly weightless
> conditions underwater where only nostrils would need
> to be poked above the
> surface. What is amazing to me is that such pinholes
> as plesiosaur nares were
> able to deliver enough air to those enormous bodies.
Plesiosaurs almost certainly gulped air through the
mouth. In the vast majority of plesiosaurs, the
internal nares are placed anterior to the external
nares to encourage a flow of water through the
internal and out the external nares, part of the
mechanism allowing plesiosaurs to "smell" the water.
This fact, along with your observation of tiny nares,
are good evidence. With respect to how high a
plesiosaur could lift its neck out of the
water...well, this raises the minimum by a good few
centimetres! (Also Dan, thanks for the comments on my
Elasmosaurus illustration, received via M.Everhart).
Adam Stuart Smith
> Mosasaurs, in contast, have
> relatively huge nasal openings.
> Some of my first attempts at drawing
> prehistoric animals (age 5)
> involved recreating the "Rite of Spring" sequence in
> Disney's "Fantasia" wherein
> plesiosaurs magestically lifted their heads high
> above the surface of the languid
> Cretaceous sea. DV
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