[New Questions]

24th April 2003

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This is a holding area for questions that I've not yet got around to working up into their complete form and finding a place for in the FAQ.




What follows are my random notes on some of the questions above. This is even more work-in-progress than the rest of the FAQ. You proobably shouldn't even be wasting your time reading this. I mean it. Go on, get outta here already!

Sauropod Necks

Pneumaticity of cervical vetrebrae in sauropods: here's what Matt Wedel, the describer of Sauroposeidon, the longest-necked dinosaur known to science, has to say about it in his interview with Prehistoric Planet:

Immediately when we looked inside these vertebrae, even though they're so large (the largest vertebra is four and a half feet long) we looked inside and there's no bone anywhere in those vertebrae that's thicker than three millimeters and most of the bone is one millimeter thick. It is literally eggshell thin. You can see that in places on the outside of the specimen where little pieces of the bone have flaked off and you can see the matrix that's filling the air spaces and that exterior bone is unbelievably thin! So when we looked on the CT scans it was little traceries of white bone surrounding the grey matrix that was filling these air spaces. It was absolutely amazing!

[...] for the most part the vertebrae are intact and undistorted. They're just very, very narrow. So you've got these vertebrae that are four and a half feet long and only about a foot wide which is not as weird as it sounds. The uncrushed brachiosaur vertebrae from Tendaguru are also very narrow, as are the vertebrae of Euhelopus from China.

[...] In Apatosaurus you don't get these little millimeter thin traceries of bone surrounding these tiny little air sacs. What you get is these great slabs of bone almost an inch thick, usually no less than a centimeter thick. Very few large slats of bone subdividing these very big air sacs.

[...] Apato sort of looks like a pro wrestler when most of the other sauropods tend to look like ballerinas. Everything on Apato is bigger and stronger than it looks like it ought to be. You've got an animal like Diplodocus which is a big as Apato but it's much more slender. Most sauropods are very slender-Brachio has the slenderest limb bones of any big sauropod.

At the 2000 meeting of the SVP, Akersten & Trost proposed that sauropods supported their necks in part with paravertebral air sacs.

Ceratopsian Frills

Numerous possibilites have been suggested:

John Anton <janton@brookdalecc.edu> points out that:
John Ostrom (1964) was the first to propose that ceratopian crests were used for anchoring dentary musculature. Since then Peter Dodson and others have more or less dispelled this interpretation (in part) because John initially proposed that entire fenestrae were filled w/ muscle. As it turns out, only some muscle occupied parietal fenestrae when present. (This feature is of course absent in Triceratops.)


At the 2000 meeting of the SVP, John Hutchinson argued that T. rex walked erect rather than crouched

WWD and ``Big Al''

Good stuff at www.bbc.co.uk/dinosaurs/index.shtml

T. rex as a Predator/Scavenger

See http://stevensdinosaurs1.tripod.com/stevensdinosaurs/id13.html

Human-like Intelligence

Search on google for ``dinosauroid "dale russell"''

See also www.geocities.com/stegob/dalerussell.html

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