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Re: Long-necked stegosaur coming out in Proceedings B

There's a third possibility, and it's been suggested for sauropods as well. If the tail was the main
means of defense, then a longer tail may have given it a greater 'arc of thagomization'. The
elongation of the neck may have just come along for the ride as a counter-balancing measure.

I've only ever seen this proposed in Jurassic Park (the book) and immediately attributed it to Crichton not thinking things through, or of course not knowing most of said things in the first place. *Giraffatitan* and similar sauropods, as well as all the "euhelopodids", had long necks and rather short tails (even *Omeisaurus* and *Shunosaurus* with their tail clubs); apart from the two just mentioned ones, only Flagellicaudata had adaptations to waving their tails around, and of those, one half (Dicraeosauridae) had remarkably short, not long, necks for sauropod standards.

This is no surprise: using the neck as a counterweight doesn't make sense because the neck consisted mostly of air (and the head was too small to count), while the tail consisted mostly of muscle, followed by bone.

Similarly, all stegosaurs had a thagomizer, but only *Miragaia* had a long neck.

Stegosaur _forelimbs_, on the other hand, _do_ show adaptations to anchoring the body against the inertia of thagomizer swings.