Chapter

Digital Reconstructions of Sauropod Dinosaurs and Implications for Feeding

Kent A. Stevens and J. Michael Parrish

in The Sauropods

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780520246232
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932333 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520246232.003.0007
Digital Reconstructions of Sauropod Dinosaurs and Implications for Feeding

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This chapter discusses the method for three-dimensional reconstructions of sauropod skeletons, focusing on the pose of the neck and its implications for sauropod herbivory. It determines that most sauropods as medium to low browsers. Neutral pose reconstructions suggest that most sauropods would have their necks held horizontally or subhorizontally when not actively feeding or otherwise raising their heads. The feeding envelope for a given taxon can be visualized as the extremes of head reach allowed by the flexibility of its neck. It is clear from the cranial and dental studies that significant differences existed among sauropod feeding mechanisms. Brachiosaurus and, perhaps, Camarasaurus (at the upward extent of its feeding envelope) appear to have been the only Jurassic sauropods clearly capable of feeding as “high browsers” on arborescent gymnosperms.

Keywords: sauropod; skeletons; three-dimensional reconstructions; neck; herbivory; feeding; Brachiosaurus; Camarasaurus

Chapter.  10375 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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