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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



On 10 February 2011 16:58, Richard W. Travsky <rtravsky@uwyo.edu> wrote:
>> The data, both extant and fossil, tell us that -- 1) giant theropod jaws
>> could encompass the necks of even very large sauropods, 2) bite force
>> was such that one full-on bite to any portion of the neck and head was
>> likely to be mortal, 3) the mobility of the giant theropods on hard,
>> flat ground was (barring anomalous and unexpected giant sauropod
>> locomotive capability) overwhelmingly superior, and 4) the likely
>> relative nutritional requirements of the respective morphologies meant
>> that time was very much on the theropod's side in any protracted
>> engagement.
>
> How many sauropod neck specimens show bite marks?

What an interesting question!

As far as I KNOW, the answer is: none.  At least, I don't know of any
publication describing such a thing.

But that certainly doesn't mean they're not out there.  The problem
is: how would you tell?  Sauropod cervicals are perhaps the most
fragile of all fossils, due to the combination of large size, complex
morphology and delicate construction.  Distortion is almost
inevitable, and indeed I've made the point on SV-POW! --
        
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/range-of-motion-in-intervertebral-joints-why-we-dont-trust-dinomorph/
that it's questionable whether there are ANY complete, undamaged and
undistorted sauropod cervicals known to science.

Against that backdrop, unequivocal bite marks are going to be difficult to find.

-- Mike.