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RE: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



Mike Taylor wrote:

<Indeed. The only way you could KNOW that a toothmark on a sauropod cervical 
was from a bite inflicted on a live animal would be if the mark was healing. 
And since that would show that the prey animal survived, it would not much help 
in demonstrating that, as some on this list have asserted, theropods could take 
sauropods down with a single bite.>

  It would help show that the sauropod was bitten on the neck by a (vampire?) 
theropod, which was the question. An assault on the neck, even at the base 
(which, no matter how far you elevate the head is at the same height relative 
to the shoulder), if it were to strike bone, _should_ leave a trace. If so, 
then we should be able to find it. I would then start looking at basal 
cervicals, cranial dorsals, posterior cervical ribs, and pectoral bones for 
potential signs of theropod aggression. Otherwise, haunch/flank/side-ribs or 
even caudal strikes would be more prevalent.

  My understanding, however, is that few sauropod specimens show signs of 
theropod aggression. One may assume that the material that would show it may 
have been pulverized, if we assume that even a carcass would be consumed by any 
carnivore. Carnivores leave distinctive feeding traces that are sometimes 
_very_ difficult to confuse with taphonomic processes (something Denver alluded 
to), so I would suspect it should be fairly easy to find traces of theropod 
feeding.

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)