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Re: Sauropod Biology



 "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."

The animal seems to be convergent with other high browsing animals, such as Therizinosaurs and giant ground sloths.

Not in its hips...

Prosauropods had large thumb claws that would be useful in pulling down tree branches.

As well as in defense or whatever.

Since trees don't grow horizontally, one would expect a Plateosaurus would stand upright at times to reach high branches.

One would expect it to get the neck into an upright position. But the rest of the body may or may not have been capable of withstanding such a posture.


 "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...!)"

Why would it need special modifications to simply rest on the ground and support some of its weight?

Because of the sheer weight of the animal, the tail could get damaged otherwise.


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


This was the source; I don't know how reliable it is since it is from wikipedia. Hopefully someone can confirm this info for us.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachiosauridae

Ah. No source is given in there. Probably someone just retyped a misinterpretation... Wikipedia is sometimes very reliable and sometimes not worth the webspace it's stored on... :-)


I thought they had died out by the end of the early cretaceous too, which is what I meant by "not long after the Jurassic".

The Early Cretaceous lasted for on the order of 50 million years, so I'd disagree about the "not" part. :-)