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RE: cause of Gigantism in sauropods

Aren't we asking about any cervical, not an entire specimen where the concept 
fails because one cervical was "smushed"?


Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"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 

> Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 02:05:05 +0000
> From: mike@indexdata.com
> To: danchure@easilink.com
> CC: rtravsky@uwyo.edu; dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: cause of Gigantism in sauropods
> On 11 February 2011 01:51, Dan Chure  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.)