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Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods

It's not easy to detect the sculpting looking at the mounts, either (they're 
both on display).  If you get right up on them to measure, you'd notice, but 
it's very convincing.  From an exhibition standpoint, that's a very good thing, 
but from a research standpoint, it reinforces your point to be cautious and 
check the original descriptions carefully.



On Feb 10, 2011, at 9:05 PM, Mike Taylor wrote:

> 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.)

Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
(443) 280-0181