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Re: new dino topic--long but (i think) interesting

I have a bit of a problem with the former
>idea though.  There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is
>Bakker's argument of, if you're going to evolve a 10-30 foot neck, why
>feed two feet from the ground?  (in the case of this article and
>_Diplodocus_, a 20 foot neck to eat only 12 feet above the ground and
>_Brachiosaurus_ with a 30 foot neck and its head only 18 feet above the

Recently it has been suggested that giraffe necks evolved not so much for
high browsing as for intraspecific combat - apparently they do not browse
at the highest levels their necks could allow, or at least not all the
time.  I'm not suggesting sauropod necks were used that way, but only that
reaching to the highest point is not the only reason to have a long neck.

One view I have heard is that a long neck would have permitted Apatosaurs
etc to browse a wide swathe without doing more than pivoting a bit, and
thus be an energy saving.  Another idea is that the neck, with the tail,
served the function of maintaining position of the spine, rather like the
operation of a suspension bridge - perhaps a necessity for such heavy
animals.  I have no idea of the merit of these notions, but, again, they do
provide possible answers to Jack's first question.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net