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