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Re: Not: why the long face? but:why the long neck?
On Fri, Oct 9th, 2009 at 11:10 PM, David Peters <email@example.com>
> Curious for reasons as to what certain monitors do with their long,
> long neck?
> Spying seems to be one reason. And if they're evasive, perhaps it
> gives a little extra time to spot and run?
I can think of several possibilities.
- 'Up Periscope' for scanning the terrain
- Temperature regulation
- To get their head deep into tight places (inside carcasses, termite mounds,
rock crevasses when
after small prey, etc)
- For sweeping back and forth while scent tracking with their forked tongue (it
might help increase
the swath width of their 'scan').
- To help counter-balance their long muscular tails, which they use to great
effect to defend
- To enable their heads to turn back on their bodies during a fight with
another monitor, while
subduing snakes, or if it's grabbed by a predator. If you grab a small monitor
anywhere except for
the back of the head, it can bite you. You generally need to use two hands to
subdue a small
monitor; one at the base of it's neck and the other at the base of the tail (to
prevent it from
clawing you or whipping you with it's tail). Even then you've got a fight on
your hands (or rather,
*in* your hands).
GIS / Archaeologist Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj