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Re: Sauropods Then and Now



Mike Taylor wrote:

> Since it was found in a mangrove, _Paralititan_ is
> probably the lead contender for this lifestyle.  However, it dosn't
> look particularly likely, as "the distal surface of the preserved
> metacarpal is rectangular and flattened, suggesting phalangeal
> reduction or absence on this digit" (Smith et al. 2001), whereas you'd
> expect broad feet on a semiaquatic animal that was going to spend a
> lot of its time of soft ground.track

It's interesting that Paralititan was discovered in a mangrove setting,
as the sauropod tracks that abound along the coast of Western Australia
are also more common in sediments that once formed lagoonal
environments. See one of Tony Tholburn's old posts way-back-when:

http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1997Aug/msg00778.html

I wonder perhaps if sauropods used beaches or river floodplains as
migratory pathways in areas of otherwise dense forest? They may have
formed handy highways for animals that couldn't navigate closely-spaced
trees very well. If that was the case, then sauropods may have simply
been passing through these environments, rather than living there
exclusively.

-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
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