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Re: Long-necked stegosaur (the reason for long necks?)



Jonas Weselake-George wrote:

> The obvious solution is to grow a longer neck. You can
> reach to consume
> foliage growing in ponds, you can consume ferns dotting a
> rocky outcrop, you
> can pass in between >500 ton trees to feed on the
> undergrowth behind them -
> if you have the right neck.


It's a nice idea: expansion of the feeding envelope for opportunistic foraging, 
rather than strict niche partitioning.  Corroboration of this idea would 
probably require some digital reconstruction of the neck of _Miragaia_to 
determine just how flexible it might have been. 


> It would be interesting to find out what the rear half of
> Miragia and
> whether there are any Kentrosaurus like spines that might
> have effected
> mobility in some terrain types.


Yes, it would be nice to know what the rear half of _Miragaia_ looked like.  If 
a dacentrurine, the armor may have become 'spikier' toward the tail.

As for _Kentrosaurus_, I'm not sure we can say at what angle(s) the spikes 
jutted out from the sacrum and tail.  As with the anteriorly-located plates, 
the angle between paired osteoderms could have been widely splayed, or quite 
narrow/acute, or varied according to position.  If the spines were mostly 
directed upward, more so than widely splayed, then the spines shouldn't have 
interfered too much with mobility through dense vegetation.  (Off-hand, I can't 
recall what kind of habitat Tendaguru was.)


Cheers

Tim