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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
        
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2009/06/25/sauropods-were-corn-on-the-cob-not-shish-kebabs/

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et al. 2000) and some unpublished speculation.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.