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Re: Refurbished Berlin Brachiosaurus Mount

Kent A. Stevens writes:
 > Mike:
 > > It's all relative, Kent.  For you or me, 7m would not be bad going;
 > > for a Brachiosaurus it's pretty feeble :-)
 > There's a circularity in your reasoning, sorry.  Given YOUR
 > expectation of what Brachiosaurus looked like, 7 m is feeble. But
 > for what Brachiosaurus might have ACTUALLY looked like, it might
 > have been normal :)

Well.  My expectation of what Brachiosaurus looked like is based on
its shoulder being six meters above the ground.  Which is why a 9m
neck contributing only another one meter is "feeble".  Any brachiosaur
not able to do better than that would have had serious self-image
problems and would have needed a lot of conselling.

By the way, I find it hard to think of many extant critters that can't
elevate their necks more than one sixth of shoulder height above the

 > > Sorry, Kent, but your composite _is_ an artistic interpretation.
 > > There's nothing wrong with that, but it [my composite of Janensch's  
 > > engravings] really doesn't have any more weight that Matthew's or  
 > > Janensch's or Paul's or Czerkas's or Wedel's.
 > I doubt you are saying that all those illustrations are equally  
 > accurate dimensionally and geometrically.  They can't all be right,  
 > varying as they do from nearly straight (Czerkas) to raising the neck  
 > to near verticality (Paul).

No, I am not saying they are all equally right (obviously).  I am
saying that we simply do not have the bones that would enable us to
say which is most correct.

 > But it IS interesting that Janensch's simplified illustration  
 > depicting the ascending neck image (the second from right) exhibits  
 > more curvature than Janensch's engraving showing the sequence of  
 > vertebrae C10-D2, found articulated as a single block.

Well, sure.  Because Janensch evidently thought that the animal held
its neck differently in life from how its bones were found in death.

 > And on reflection, I wonder why the Berlin mount, itself a rather
 > liberal "artistic interpretation" with perfectly sculpted neural
 > arches forming a gracefully ascending neck in ONP, was not
 > originally sculpted to accurately match the block from C10-D2 which
 > they had in their possession.

I guess for the same reason that the mount's C8 isn't displaced from
the rest of the column :-)

 > >> Or, better, just wait until new material with more complete neural
 > >> arches becomes available to "lower the boom".
 > >
 > > Now that is a strategy worth pursuing :-)  If only we could _do_
 > > something about it, though!
 > Some rather recently found specimens in eastern Utah come to mind :)

Oh, my.

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we
         should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by an invention
         of ours, and this we should do freely and generously" -- Benjamin
         Franklin, 1742.