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Re: Plesiosaurs Necks



Dinosaur World wrote:
> 
> 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?

Recent studies have suggested that bivalves made up part of the
plesiosaur diet. The long necks may have been for foraging back and
forth on the sea floor (like underwater versions of diplodocids
perhaps?). I imagine you don't have to be all that fast to catch shell
fish either - just faster than anything that might want to eat YOU.

What do juvenile elasmosaurids look like? Could they have had relatively
shorter necks (hence capable of faster evasive action)? Perhaps diets
changed from active persuit of prey to more passive bottom feeding as
they grew larger...

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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
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