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

-----Original Message-----
From: Ronald Orenstein <ornstn@inforamp.net>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Saturday, October 11, 1997 3:18 AM
Subject: Re: new dino topic--long but (i think) interesting

>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.

Perhaps in addition to the above, the tail and neck could dissipate heat
from the body as well.  There's likely other reasons as well.