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Re: Raised sauropod necks Re: A sauropod paper and a buttload of ornithopod ones

On 3 June 2010 16:27, Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:
> On Wed, 2 Jun 2010, Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>> Christian, A. 2010. Some sauropods raised their necks—evidence for high
>> browsing in Euhelopus zdanskyi. Biol. Lett. published online before print
>> June 2, 2010, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2010.0359
>> Abstract
>> A very long neck that is apparently suitable for feeding at great heights
>> is
>> a characteristic feature of most sauropod dinosaurs. Yet, it remains
>> controversial whether any sauropods actually raised their necks high.
>> Recently, strong physiological arguments have been put forward against the
>> idea of high-browsing sauropods, because of the very high blood pressure
>> that appears to be inevitable when the head is located several metres
>> above
>> the heart. For the sauropod Euhelopus zdanskyi, however, biomechanical
>> evidence clearly indicates high browsing. Energy expenditure owing to high
>> browsing is compared with energy costs for walking a distance. It is
>> demonstrated for Euhelopus as well as for the much larger Brachiosaurus
>> that
>> despite an increase in the metabolic rate, high browsing was worthwhile
>> for
>> a sauropod if resources were far apart.
> No disrespect, but isn't getting to be old news?

No.  It's independent corroboration of our conclusion by means of a
completely different method.  That's new news, even though it also has
implications for old news.

(I should point out that I've not yet read Christian's paper; I'm just
going from the abstract.  But it's clear from that alone that he
didn't reach his conclusions by analogy with the behaviour of extant
animals, as we did.)

> From May 2009
> http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090526213918.htm
> ...
> But now scientists are saying the low-necked sauropod pose is a mistake: new
> evidence indicates that they held their necks aloft like giraffes and all
> other living land vertebrates, making them up to 15 metres tall.
> Dr Mike Taylor and Dr Darren Naish, of the University of Portsmouth, and Dr
> Matt Wedel, of Western University of Health Sciences in California, argue
> that while sauropods could hold their necks low, it was not their habitual
> posture.
> ...
>> Open Access: just go to
>> http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/05/29/rsbl.2010.03
>> 59.full