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Re: Long-necked stegosaur, head tail mimicry?




Now, a sauropod is usually bigger, and may well make sense to do
things
that way. Correlation with size and long necks?Â<<<

Quite the opposite; locomotion scales favorably (i.e. becomes cheaper) as you grow larger. The idea that sauropod necks evolved to prevent them from having to walk during grazing has to rate as one of the most ludicrous explanations to ever enter the paleo literature (seriously, it's the energetics equivalent of saying the long necks were snorkels that let sauropods rest comfortably under 30 feet of water). Especially when considering how expensive long necks are to maintain and breath through.

That's not to say that sauropod may not have grazed, but the long-necked species acquired their necks for entirely different reasons.

Scott Hartman
Science Director
Wyoming Dinosaur Center
110 Carter Ranch Rd.
Thermopolis, WY 82443
(800) 455-3466 ext. 230
Cell: (307) 921-8333

www.skeletaldrawing.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Sent: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 9:10 am
Subject: Re: Long-necked stegosaur, head tail mimicry?







On Sun, 8 Mar 2009, David Marjanovic wrote:Â

We assume, like sauropods,Â

that stegosaurs are relatively slow moving, and the phraseÂ

"sauropod-mimic"Â

is being freely used, so maybe, just maybe, this particular
stegosaur wasÂ

doing
just that. Not moving very much but being able to cover a lot moreÂ

ground whilst eating, moving the long neck in an arc, maximising theÂ

energyÂ

intake without moving very much. Just a thought.Â

Â

But is it even the case that holding the neck far out and moving it
aroundÂ

costs less energy than walking a step?Â
Â

There are millions of four legged animals on the planet today that graze,
don't have long necks, and take steps to cover ground. So I tend to doubt
why they'd adopt that sort of feeding strategy.Â
Â


Now, a sauropod is usually bigger, and may well make sense to do things
that way. Correlation with size and long necks?Â