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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods



On 11 February 2011 01:51, Dan Chure <danchure@easilink.com> wrote:
> "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.

I've never seen the juvenile Camarasaurus lentus, but Gilmore's (1936)
description of the Apatosaurus louisae holotype indicates that all is
not as it seems.  He states that the three most posterior cervicals
are plaster models, as the originals were all smushed up; as well as
the account of the damaged neck-base, he also noted (p. 195) that “the
type of A. louisae [i.e. CM 3018] lacks most of the spine tops, only
those of cervicals eight, ten and twelve being complete”.  (You would
NEVER guess this from Gilmore’s Plate XXIV, which shows all of the
cervicals but C5 essentially complete.)

This is a cautionary tale.  Everyone "knows" that CM 2018, along with
the Diplodocus carnegii holotype CM 84, have very well preserved
necks; but it ain't so.  (Certainly not well preserved enough for
computer models of them to accurately predict neutral posture and
range of movement ... but that is a whole nother issue.)