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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods

On 9 February 2011 17:54, Habib, Michael <MHabib@chatham.edu>
>> 2) bite force was such that one full-on bite to any portion of the neck and 
>> head was
>> likely to be mortal,
> Which analysis is this based upon?  It involves not only analysis of predator 
> bite force and penetration, but also reconstruction of sauropod soft tissue. 
>  The necks of sauropods have rarely been reconstructed in detail, especially 
> in cross-section.  I believe Mike Taylor sent out a link to one such 
> reconstruction, but it was focused on muscular anatomy, and the vessels were 
> therefore placed somewhat arbitrarily.  I don't know of any others that have 
> done a more complete job of this, but perhaps I've missed one (sauropods are 
> not my focus, after all).

You're exactly right, Michael.  The only published sauropod
soft-tissue reconstructions are those of Paul (1997:fig. 4) and
Schwarz et al. (2007:fig. 7): the former is not supported by evidence,
and the latter is not attempting to portray anything but the
diverticula in more than schematic form -- it's about topology, not
geometry.  You can see both of these at

Apart from that, there's an oldish abstract for an SVP poster (Sanders
et al. 2000) and some unpublished speculation.  That's all.

In summary, no-one knows anything worth a damn qualitatively about
sauropod neck soft anatomy, and the question is ripe for someone to
take it on.  It's at least a Masters project, probably a Ph.D.  Until
then, Schwarz et al. is the best we have.

-- Mike.