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re: stealthy maybe, dinosaur no
[ The following was held up by the usual socio-technical glitch -- MPR ]
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Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 13:09:39 -0500
From: David Peters <DPeters@kupperparker.com>
Subject: re: stealthy maybe, dinosaur no
Li Chun was kind enough to furnish a pdf of the article on
Dinocephalosaurus, the new tanystropheid.
A couple of things are interesting in this specimen.
1. The skull is better articulated as any I've seen in this clade. You
can see right through the AOF to the palate.
2. The extremities are all aquatically modified, much more so than
those of any of the Tanystropheus species. Does that tell us that
T. langobardicus was not as aquatic as originally thought? The
doubled neck cervical count tells us that the two super necks
probably developed in parallel, rather than one from the other.
3. This hypothesis of neck expansion is intriguing. It brings to mind
images of a frilled lizard, only the ribs are inside causing a
ballooning effect. Perhaps the long teeth acted like whalebone to
keep the prey inside during the subsequent water expulsion. Talk
about a wild ride.
Did the terrestrial counterparts have the same neck expanding
capabilities? If so, what were they used for, if not vacuuming in
prey? Perhaps threat display?
I've heard of gular expansion using the hyoids and ceratobranchials,
but that never involves cervical ribs, does it? If not, is this a
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