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RE: Diplodocus/Seismosaur head size.

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Karen Casino
> Hey, all,
> Another script related question, just in time for lunch. What was the
> size of a Diplodocus or Seismosaur head? (The Seismosaur in question is
> an immature adult, maybe eighty feet long, so I figure that a
> Diplodocus would be a good comparison.)

About 60 cm or so, based on Diplodocus.

> Operating under the assumption that the reason so few sauropod heads
> have been preserved is that they were the tastiest things in the
> Mesozoic, I'm having my lead characters grill one up, and I'm wondering
> how much of it they should use -- split it in half? Cut it in quarters?
> This is sort of ridiculous, but I guess the real question isn't so much
> "how big is the head," as "how many servings?"

Not a lot of meat on a Diplodocus head, but what there is is good eating...

Or so one Allosaurus might have said to each other.

Seriously, though, not a lot of meat on a Diplodocus head. Some nasal tissue, a 
dinky-little brain, some jaw muscles, and a tongue
(probably the only meaty part, and even that probably wouldn't be terribly 
impressive). At least in Camarasaurus you'd have some
decent-sized jaw muscles to slice up and fry.

The reason that sauropod heads are rare is probably simply that a) they were 
fragile, once the connective tissues decayed and b)
that's the end that sauropods would start to fray at...

If I had a choice between Diplodocus "head cheese" vs. the rib rack or haunch 
meat, I'm going for the posterior rather than
anteriormost option.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
        Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796