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Re: Plesiosaurs Necks



On Fri, 20 Jan 2006 00:29:37 +1100, Colin McHenry wrote
> 
> > (like underwater versions of diplodocids
> >perhaps?).
> >
> Unless diplodocids were catching fish and cephalopods, I doubt that....

How can we be sure they were catching them, and not just scavenging dead 
animals from the sea floor... :) 

Less flippantly; many species die en masse after spawning, and I'm sure a 
passing plesiosaur wouldn't have hesitated to snatch up as much free food as 
possible.

It's been proposed that the long necks of diplodocids were to enable them to 
feed in a more energy efficient manner, sweeping them back and forward 
without the need for a lot of constant forward movement. Perhaps this was 
also true of elasmosaurs? Imagine one resting on the sea floor, and a schoal 
of fish/cephalopods swim by. Just raising the head quickly and sweeping it 
randomly back and forth through the schoal with a gaping mouth could be 
enough to snare dinner (especially if they had the jaw-closing reflexes of a 
croc or skimming bird when the tip of the lower jaw is touched).

(Sea)food for thought...

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