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Re: Bird necks



Owl necks are not a short as they appear in life, they rest with a tight S-curve (the neck of a barn owl is rough the same length as its thorax, give or take).

That being said, the more important factor for owl head rotation is the number of cervical vertebra. I believe there are 14 total (confirmation would be helpful) if memory serves. Furthermore, there is high mobility at the joints between cervicals. As HP Dann Pigdon mentioned with the sauropod example, both are important factors, more so than total length.

--Mike Habib

On Wednesday, March 30, 2005, at 03:54 PM, Dann Pigdon wrote:

Owls have fairly short necks, and they can turn their heads more than 180 degrees.

On the other hand, sauropods had no shortage of cervical vertebrae, but
their range of motion is said to have been extremely restricted.

It seems that where necks are concerned, short does not necessarily mean
inflexible.