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Re: sauropod rearing



On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 10:38:42 +1000, Chris Glen wrote
> 
> I have recollections of seeing circus elephants having some limited 
> bipedal locomotion - rearing up and turning around on the spot, and 
> bizarrely I think I have seen them perform conga line - this is a 
> vague memory (could be erroneous or elaborated)...

I seem to recall seeing something similar.
 
> Anyway, I guess this suggests it would be worth finding out what 
> trained elephants can do...

Of course, just because an animal is physically capable of doing something 
doesn't necessarily mean that they ever actually do it. I doubt any wild 
elephant has ever done a head-stand, for instance. Certainly, African Grey 
parrots in the wild don't develop the sort of sophisticated vocal abilities 
of the famous Alex. The potential may be there in wild animals, but it 
needn't ever be realised (not unless there is an adpative advantage).

Diplodocids may have been fully capable of rearing up, even for extended 
periods, but just because they were capable of doing so doesn't mean they 
ever actually did. Unfortunately, such behaviour simply doesn't fossilise 
well - unless repeated rearing left its mark on bones in the form of 
occasional minor stress fractures (which no other behaviour could account 
for).

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