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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



----- Original Message ----

From: Mike Taylor <mike@indexdata.com>
>> 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.



Mmm... I don't see distortion as a major hindrance in recgonising toothmarks. 
Surface cracking is more of a problem.

And why would you expect toothmarks from a kill anyway? Most (if not all) of 
the 
toothmarks I have observed (on other dinosaur taxa) are much more likely to be 
from carcass processing.

I have mental picture of a big theropod biting into the neck of a sauropod, 
piercing one of the air sacs, and the sauropod deflating like a giant balloon.