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Re: Diplodocus: Return to the Swamps????
I believe there is more than one case of sauropod limbs (and nothing
more) found perpendicular to bedding. I recall one such specimen
discovered in Tendaguru in shallow marine carbonate muds if memory
serves me correctly.
Jonas Weselake-George wrote:
Dann Pigdon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
"It goes in splayed with plenty of resistance (limiting the depth of penetration),
but is drawn out with converged toes that offer far less resistance. Sauropods, on the
other hand, would have had to fight each step to extract a foot from deep mud. That's
bound to tire a large animal out after a while."
What about taking into account mass (and muscle mass) vs. limb surface area? It would seem to me that a fifteen ton sauropod would experience less relative suction than a one ton theropod. What do you think?
Additionally, the sauropod would tend to punch through to the substrate more easily and would also have four limbs for balance. I'm not arguing that it'd be easy, but a large sauropod might have an advantage in moving through a swamp (not that it is very likely a theropod one fifteenth its weight would have a motivation to follow).
A more likely situation would be sauropods taking advantage of the mud to mate
(after all I saw a paper suggesting that an early cretaceous ornithopod
population was using swamps for shelter during the breeding season).