[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Sauropod necks????

Mike Taylor  <mike@miketaylor.org.uk> wrote:
> To bring the discussion back to sauropods (hey,
> that's while we're all
> here, right?) it appears that many of the very large
> sauropods seem to
> have long necks even by sauropod standards.  Among
> these I cite
> _Supersaurus_, _Brachiosaurus_ and (even more so)
> _Sauroposeidon_.  By
> contrast, smaller sauropods such as _Saltasaurus_
> seems to have
> proportionally short necks.  Clearly this is only
> anecdotal, and
> someone ought to take a stab at analysing this
> statistically.  But if
> this positive allometry is real, then it could be
> read as an
> indication in favour of the idea that those big ol'
> necks were nothing
> more than penis substitutes (i.e. sexual display
> organs).

Long necks in large sauropods probably served to
enhance the _kilos of forage per step_ ratio. The
question of how large sauropods obtained enough forage
was quite controversial at one time, and never
satisfactorily resolved to my knowledge. Colbert wrote
extensively on this. (Someone even invented a
hypothetical mollusc to account for the big guys
ability to sustain themselves...)