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Re: Lack of Running Giant Theropod Tracks

On 29 November 2010 18:10, Habib, Michael <MHabib@chatham.edu> wrote:
> I will say, however, that you have raised an interesting morphological 
> question: just how well protected were the deeper arteries of a sauropod?  I 
> think the vital structures would actually be a lot harder to hit than you 
> give credit for; I presume you'd disagree, but regardless, that is something 
> we can actually analyze.  Sauropod workers: any information on the estimated 
> amount of muscular tissue and other connective elements protecting the vital 
> deep structures of a sauropod neck?

Not much in the way of published reconstruction here.  As summarised at
there have only been two published reconstruction of sauropod-neck
cross-sections: those of Paul (1997), which schematically restored a
very thin layer of soft tissue for Diplodocus and "Brachiosaurus"
(i.e. Giraffatitan) , and the much more rigorous reconstructions of
Schwarz et al. (2007), showing a much greater volume of soft-tissue
surrounding cervicals of Diplodocus: two vertebrae (one bifid, one
not) both shown in two cross-sections.

Surprisingly, to me at least, Schwarz et al. show the carotid artery
right at the bottom of the flesh envelope, even protruding somewhat
below it.  I'm not sure whether that actually reflects Daniela's
thinking, though: the paper is really about soft-tissue pneumaticity,
and the paper's figures are probably intended mostly to show where the
diverticula were, with relatively little consideration given to other

So, in summary, no -- I don't think anyone has published a rigorous
all-tissue cross-section of a sauropod neck yet.  (That doesn't mean
they haven't been drawn, of course, just that they haven't been