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Re: Sky Monsters (w/spoilers)

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Habib" <mhabib5@jhmi.edu>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2006 10:33 AM
Subject: Re: Sky Monsters (w/spoilers)

I've hardly made up my mind on feeding biology in Quetzalcoatlus. However, I would like to note that it is not actually all that stork or heron like with regards to feeding-related anatomy (though there are enough superficial similarities in the face for it to be a tempting thought).

The shape of the tip of the snout is very different from storks and herons -- and very unlike at least one of the azhdarchids in Sky Monsters.

Most importantly, rapid-striking in the heron or stork style requires a fairly flexible neck. They have lots of short cervicals that anchor a large number of short muscles in the neck. Such a setup is, in fact, quite the opposite of the azhdarchid arrangement (where you get a few short cervicals likely anchoring small numbers of long muscles).

The hard stops in the quetz cerivicals don't allow a striking type of motion. Their mobility is quite limited.

Now, not all storks use rapid striking, but those that don't are largely ground-feeding scavengers.

That has been proposed for quetz. Again, the tip of the snout doesn't appear to me to be designed for that.