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Re: Sauropod necks (Re: DinoMorph Strikes Back!... or does it?)

Kent Stevens wrote:

> who's "we"?

Uh, at least three persons ;-)
Mind you, I can say in my defence that when I saw I was in trouble,
though I tend to think Greg Paul a rather idoneous person, I went to
your site to see for myself and Greg does have a few points on the
rather odd articulations one sees there.
Also you could quit putting big images in pop-ups without scrolling
tabs because they can't be moved on-screen to full extent and I had to
save them to "my"* hard-drive to view them properly. Not that it was
much of a fuss to do so but it's not exactly user-friendly.

>  And why couple the two methodologies (2D digital photo-
> compositing and 3D modeling)?  And why "scrap conclusions" regarding
> the scientific utility of reconstructing osteological neutral poses
> (see specifics below)?

Sorry, I was too hasty with words. Blame it on youthness :-]
When I was mentally composing my response I came to my own conclusion,
to be scrapped or not it's your choice, that it would be more
productive rather than give that much importance the neutral stance,
to just check the ranges of movement the animal had. I do know you did
that for the most part but what you've done does carry some baggage
with it.
I'm not saying you've been using scientifically useless techniques;
they are quite useful indeed, the results are rather odd though.
(Before you say anything about scientific community inertia, let me
just state that "extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence" and
repeatability also. So in light of that motto I'm not too keen on
those stories about underdog scientists and calloused peers. Not that
this has to do with anything ;-) )

> 1) Some published silhouette drawings, while dimensionally accurate
> as far as major dimensions such has overall bone lengths, are
> morphologically inaccurate, simplified, or idealized.   This is a
> matter that can be verified, and should not be caught up in endless
> arguments and rants.

But we... erm... _one_ works what _one_ has got. If such misgivings
occur, well... Best go to the source, which both of you, Greg and Kent
seem to have done, though now the burden of evidence seems to be on
Greg. Any scans of those axial skeleton poses available?

>2), 3) & 4)

I do think your work is useful and concur that your focus on ONP is as
good as ever a point to start with determining motion ranges of
animals. You should however do that for a bit more extant taxa and get
rid of those incongruencies Greg mentioned. You do have the cheese and
the knife in your hands, y'know.

> 5) Regarding whether pleurodiran turtles really disarticulate their
> zygapophyses, I'll contact someone who did a Ph.D. dissertation on
> those very necks.  Based on his personal communication to Mike
> Parrish and myself when we visited him (soon after a DML comment to
> this effect), this is a myth.

As I said I've heard about it and now that you mention it it was
probably here on the DML. I'm all too eager to get that Ph.D
dissertation to check the illustrations so this doubt can be put at
rest, if you would be so kind :-]

Renato Santos
I like to collect art galleries displaying my own work:
If you didn't get it by now, the subliminal order is "Go see" *does
queer gestures with hands*