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Re: Sauropod ONP

On 1/17/06, MarkSabercat@aol.com <MarkSabercat@aol.com> wrote:

Well, now it's time for me to stick MY neck out. Living next door in
Salem, OR, I had the chance to see the first computer models Kent and
Mike came
up with at U of O several years ago, as well as briefly participating in the
earliest discussions relating to the application of Dinomorph's computer
modeling to sauropod neck osteology. Having wrestled on paper (like so many
others) with the possibilities and limitations of neck articulation, I
want to  say
that for me, as a paleoartist and student of functional anatomy, the
Dinomorph studies of cervicals in the known taxa go far beyond the 2-D
 limitations of
tracing and drawing overlays and are the best tool I know of, in  the hands
of those I know to be unbiased researchers, in tackling the problems  of
articulation and movement in these dinosaurs.

K and M started their project without any  preconceived notions, based their
models on the most extensive and available  sources that were accessible (both
original osteological materials and  accurately drawn views of these),
carefully and systematically constructed  computer models and then rationally
interpreted what they saw.... this what  science is all about.
Probably like most
others, I have lots of questions and  potential issues about how ONP
relates to sauropod feeding and  ecology, but we now have a valid and
valuable new reference point that will help  us to discuss, model and
evaluate the
tripodal/bipedal feeding hypothesis and  others. As some have pointed out there
are the problems with postaphonomic  geodistortion and lack of material (the
Brachiosaurus pre/post zygapophyses),  but as better stuff comes to light we
can make the necessary corrections.

These are honest and elegant studies, and for me  Dinomorph has made a real
breakthrough in interpreting sauropod (and other)  dinosaur osteology.

Mark Hallett