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Sauropod Song



A great deal of attention has been given to the possibility of Hardosaur vocalization, while very little has been given to the probability Sauropod vocalization. Lets first consider the evidence.

1. The ancestors and descendents of dinosaurs have the ability to vocalize. Crocodiles and alligators are among the most vocal reptiles alive today. Little needs to be said about the vocal abilities of birds. Since dinosaurs/birds and crocodilians share a common ancestry, it is rather likely that Sauropods were highly vocal animals.

2. A gregarious life style suggests vocal ability. The most vocal birds are usually among the most social. The reason for this is rather obvious; vocalization helps members of a species communicate and alert each other to danger.

3. Many Sauropods seem to posses adaptations for generating sound. Genera such as Brachiosaurus have huge nasal openings that may have housed inflatable chambers that could greatly amplify sound. Diplodocids had long sinuses that ran through their skull, and likely had a cartilaginous extension to the naris. These features would have given them vocal abilities similar to those found in Parasaurolophus.

4. Sauropods may have had a bird like syrinx to produce sound. The Sauropod respiratory system was probably more avian than reptilian. If they had a syrinx, sound would have been produced in the anterior of the chest. The extremely long trachea would have resonated sound as it traveled through the neck. This adaptation exists today in the whooping crane. Whooping cranes have long trachea coiled inside the body cavity for the purpose of resonating sound.


Considering the evidence given above, Sauropods may have been capable of generating some incredible sounds. These calls could have traveled great distances to aid in the communication of herds and to alert members to danger.


Sim Koning