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Re: Sauropod Biology

Plateosaurus' hind limbs were much larger and stronger than its forelimbs, which suggests the ability to rear up for high browsing.

It suggests that the animal used to stand, walk and probably run on its hindlimbs alone, but it doesn't tell us if it held the body horizontally (like all theropods except segnosaurs and some birds) or more upright.

Since the animal would be upright, its only logical to think that the tail could help support the weight of its body.

Does the tail have any modifications that could be interpreted as adaptations for this function? (AFAIK it doesn't, but I don't know the beast's tail by heart...!)

>This does not explain why there sometimes were so many different species in
>the same place at (it appears) the same time.

What is your point? In Africa there are many large herbivores that fill the same niche.
By your logic, there should only be one species of grazing ungulate in Africa.

These are not exactly the same niches. They don't all eat the same kinds of grass, they don't all eat the same amount of browse, and of course they have different methods of, say, avoiding being killed by predators.

But then of course this could apply to sauropods as well...

If I knew using ** to emphasize key points would bother you so much, I wouldn't have done it. =)

Sorry. I only use ** to indicate the italics of scientific names. For emphasis I use __.

Anyway, you are correct on this. After writing my post I looked into the subject more and realized that Brachiosaurid vertebrae have been found in Mexico that date at least to 70 mya.

This would be extremely young! Are you sure they don't belong to some kind of titanosaur?