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RE: Plesiosaurs Necks

Thanks Dr. C.

I guess high rate of speed was a poor choice of words. Perhaps I should have said ANY rate speed instead.

The idea that they were fast is based on the basic aerodynamic design of the flippers, as well as their size and positioning on the body. The dual flippers appear to me to be capable of moving the body swiftly through the water and allowing it to change directions very abruptly.

This suggests to me that they were active, fast moving animals. What I don't understand is if the necks were somewhat ridged, wouldn't this prevent them from "snaking" their necks through the water in an attempt to catch prey? Were fast moving fish not a big part of their diet?

From: <Ken.Carpenter@dmns.org>
To: <dinoworld@msn.com>,<dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: RE: Plesiosaurs Necks
Date: Sun, 15 Jan 2006 16:25:10 -0700

Well, what is a high rate of speed, and why do you assume they swam
fast? Considering how much interspinal ligament was probably present for
most of the neck (based on scars), it was (unlike the debate on sauropod
necks) a fairly rigid neck.


Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D. Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology/ Chief Preparator Department of Earth Sciences Denver Museum of Nature & Science 2001 Colorado Blvd. Denver, CO 80205

Phone: 303-370-6392
Fax: 303-331-6492
for PDFs of some of my publications, as well as information of the Cedar
Mountain Project:

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu] On Behalf
Of Dinosaur World
Sent: Sunday, January 15, 2006 4:11 PM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Plesiosaurs Necks

Has there been studies to try and determine how a Plesiosaur, especially
Elasmosaurus, would have been capable of holding their necks straight
while swimming at a high rate of speed?

What would have prevented the neck from simply folding backwards due to
the force of the oncoming water?