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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



"are ANY complete, undamaged and undistorted sauropod cervicals known to 
science?"

Depends on how you define these parameters.  But the juvenile Camarasaurus 
lentus and the type of Apatosaurus louisae, both from Dinosaur National 
Monument, come to mind. Then again, I'm just a theropod guy.

Dan




On 2/10/2011 10:15 AM, Mike Taylor wrote:
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.