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Re: Sauropod necks????

I like the idea of hydrilla or some aquatic weed with
similar interwined growth habit as a primary food
source. In my experience, if you tie a garden rake
head to a rope and throw it into hydrilla infested
waters, you might need a small truck to pull it back
to shore. 

Hydrilla seems to grow best in water 1-2 m deep, and
will utilize every cc of water column. So no need to
move tree to tree, hold the head up, pull back to
strip leaves, or separate/swallow twigs, just wade
through it like a teenager sucking up a giant plate of
spagetti. Only practical way I see to obtain the truly
incredible bulk the biggest probably needed. Any


--- Phil Bigelow <bigelowp@juno.com> wrote:
> On Sat, 21 May 2005 11:57:17 -0700 (PDT) don ohmes
> <d_ohmes@yahoo.com>
> writes:
> > That said, if there is no coprolitic material
> > conceivably attributable to sauropods that
> contains
> > large quantities of (ground by gizzard stone?)
> mollusc
> > shell, then I don't think it is very robust. 
> Even if sauropods ate mollusks, sauropod coprolites
> might not contain any
> trace of the shells.  Stomach acid can be pretty
> brutal on calcium
> carbonate.
> And there is no evidence that sauropods yacked up
> pellets, so that is a
> dead end.
> On the other hand, analysis of stomach contents may
> prove to be a
> fruitful avenue of study.  If the animal died soon
> after it had dined,
> then traces of shell material may be interspersed
> with the gizzard
> stones.  The shell traces may not be easy to spot. 
> They may be sand-size
> or smaller, etched, and mixed with the matrix. 
> Unless paleo field crews
> are specifically interested in analyzing the
> microconstituents of
> sauropod gizzards, this matrix will probably wind up
> being discarded
> during field excavation and lab preparation.
> Another avenue of study would involve the analysis
> of isotopic ratios in
> sauropod bones.  if the isotopic ratios of nitrogen
> and carbon in mollusk
> meat are different from the ratios found in
> terrestrial protein sources,
> then it may provide some clues.  That is, assuming
> the above assumption
> is true. (a comparative study of the isotopic ratios
> in sea otter bones
> vs. ursid bones would be useful).
> Regardless if some/all sauropods ate mollusks, it is
> clear that a major
> portion of their diet was plant material.  Sauropod
> jaws and teeth are
> perfectly designed to strip vegetation, involving
> little or no chewing. 
> Mollusks may have only supplemented their diet.
> <pb>
> --