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Re: Refurbished Berlin Brachiosaurus Mount



Mike, try to differentiate between a very high resting neck posture for vigilance (watching out for lions, for instance) and the actual postures involved during feeding, especially in dry season, as the cited studies have shown. And don't trivialize this to think we are saying giraffes merely engage in ventral feeding (sensu Stevens and Parrish, Curry Rogers and Wilson volume). Many herbivores feed at a lower head height than they hold their heads at when at rest (such as horses, deer, giraffes, and many others). Zoo animals tend to eat where the zookeepers place the food, I would add. The articles we cited help one to see the complexity of feeding behavior under natural conditions. I'd recommend you actually read them.

On Jul 19, 2007, at 8:33 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:

Kent A. Stevens writes:
The same is true for giraffes, which do not hold their necks
vertically (at least passively as extensively illustrated and
characterized for the bulk of sauropods).

I've often seen this asserted, to the point where it now seems like orthodoxy. But whenver I see giraffes in a zoo, they are standing with their necks near-vertical.

Mike, it might appear as "orthodoxy" to you when you see it informally cited, but it is the result of scientific observations, not just Sunday afternoon trips to the zoo. I point you to (Leuthold and Leuthold, 1972; Pellew, 1984; Young and Isbell, 1991, Woolnough du Toit, 2001).

That still leaves the question of why giraffes in zoos and safari parks spend most of their time with their necks near vertical. Just because an observation has not been published does not invalidate it.

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