Sauropods held their long necks straight out?

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In summary, according to the article, sauropods may have held their long necks out horizontally rather than straight up due to the difficulty of pumping blood up to their brains. This was made possible by their unique bone, joint, and muscle design, which is closer to birds than reptiles. Additionally, the high oxygen levels in the prehistoric environment may have also aided in this process. However, modern day giraffes are able to pump blood up their long necks due to their higher blood pressure and muscular arteries.
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sauropods held their long necks straight out!??!

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/05/090514-dinosaurs-long-necks.html

What a joke!

Dinosaurs couldn't possibly have pumped blood up those long necks, so they must have held them horizontal?

Hold your arm out for five minutes. Now imagine its 30 feet long.

Something was very different in the prehistoric environment, which allowed for 8 foot long scorpions to get oxygen to their innards, pterosaurs to fly, T-rexes to run, and sauropods to get blood up to their brains. I just don't know what. It's a physics mystery.
 
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pellman said:
Dinosaurs couldn't possibly have pumped blood up those long necks, so they must have held them horizontal?
The article says they could have but wouldn't have bothered, it's not worth the effort.

Hold your arm out for five minutes. Now imagine its 30 feet long.
Different bone, joint and muscle design.
Birds can sleep with their toes grabbing onto a branch - you can't
Dinosaurs are much closer to birds.

Something was very different in the prehistoric environment, which allowed for 8 foot long scorpions to get oxygen to their innards, pterosaurs to fly, T-rexes to run, and sauropods to get blood up to their brains. I just don't know what. It's a physics mystery.
Ancient oxygen levels are fairly well known, they were above 30% for most of the cretaceous and peaked at >35% in the paleozoic (current level is 21%)

This is a big deal for creepy-crawlies who breathe through diffusion, not so much for cold blooded reptiles.
 
  • #3


It's not that much of a mystery. Modern day giraffes manage to get blood all the way up to their heads. They have higher blood pressure to pump the blood so far against gravity. I've never looked into their arterial anatomy to see if it is more muscular than arteries of species that don't have such long necks; arteries have muscular walls that helps maintain blood pressure as well.
 

1. How did Sauropods hold their long necks straight out?

Sauropods likely had a specialized structure in their neck vertebrae called "ball and socket" joints, which allowed for greater flexibility and mobility. This allowed them to hold their necks straight out without straining their muscles or causing injury.

2. Did all Sauropods hold their necks straight out?

No, not all Sauropods held their necks straight out. Some species, such as Diplodocus, had a more horizontal posture with their necks held at a slight upward angle. Other species, like Brachiosaurus, had a more vertical posture with their necks held at a steeper angle.

3. Why did Sauropods hold their necks straight out?

It is believed that Sauropods held their necks straight out to reach higher vegetation and foraging areas. This allowed them to efficiently gather food without needing to move their bodies and expend unnecessary energy.

4. How did Sauropods support the weight of their long necks?

Sauropods had a unique skeletal structure that included hollow bones, similar to modern birds, which helped to reduce their overall weight. They also had strong neck muscles and thick, sturdy neck vertebrae to support the weight of their long necks.

5. Could Sauropods move their necks in different directions?

Yes, Sauropods were able to move their necks in different directions, but they were limited in their range of motion due to the size and weight of their necks. They were most likely able to move their necks up and down, as well as side to side, but not as freely as other animals with shorter necks.

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