Advertisement.

EnchantedLearning.com is a user-supported site.
As a bonus, site members have access to a banner-ad-free version of the site, with print-friendly pages.
Click here to learn more.

ad
(Already a member? Click here.)


You might also like:
Little Log Cabin CraftPaleontologists - AllAboutDinosaurs.comDutch Language ActivitiesDeer: Family CervidaeDinosaur JokesToday's featured page: Middle East



T. rex skull ZoomDinosaurs.com
Dinosaur
News
Computer Model Shows Limited Vertical Mobility of Apatosaurus Neck
April 30, 1999

A recent study by paleontologist J. Michael Parrish (published in Science, April 30, 1999) seems to indicate that Apatosaurus and Diplodocus had very limited neck mobility. Parrish (from Northern Illinois University) used computer models of fossils to test how far the enormous of these animals could move. Muscle attachments were based on bird and crocodile models.

Parrish said that that even though these sauropods had necks that were 40+ feet (12.5 m) long, these plant-eaters could not lift their heads more than about 9 to 12 feet (3-4 to m). They must have held their heads straight out or downwards most of the time, and not up. They could swing the head and neck very freely sideways to browse for vegetation. Parrish said, "The maximum amount they were able to raise their heads was just a little bit above the height of their back. If you raise the neck any higher, the vertebrae run into each other and the back locks up." This would limit the grazing of the treetops leaves (like conifers and gingkos).

Apatosaurus Parrish said, "It was a surprising result, We didn't think there would be any problem with them raising their heads, but it turns out there is a real, physical limit." Parrish continued, "I don't think our study answers whether they could rise up on their hind legs, but if they did there would be a blood pressure problem. I don't think they would use that as a predominant way of feeding, as some people have suggested."

Habit and Diet
ferncycad If this computer modelling study proves correct, then many things can be surmised about Apatosaurus. For example, Apatosaurus could not live in a forest environment, or its head would be constantly hitting trees and it moved left and right, browsing vegetation. Since grasses hadn't evolved yet, they may have eaten a lot of relatively nutritious, low-lying plants, like ferns, horsetails, and algae.

RELATED LINKS
Information sheet on Apatosaurus

Information sheet on Diplodocus

Information about sauropod dinosaurs

Information on dinosaur diets

Other extreme dinosaurs - biggest, smallest, fastest, smartest, etc.

A Geologic Time Chart.




Enchanted Learning®
Over 35,000 Web Pages
Sample Pages for Prospective Subscribers, or click below

Overview of Site
What's New
Enchanted Learning Home
Monthly Activity Calendar
Books to Print
Site Index

K-3
Crafts
K-3 Themes
Little Explorers
Picture dictionary
PreK/K Activities
Rebus Rhymes
Stories
Writing
Cloze Activities
Essay Topics
Newspaper
Writing Activities
Parts of Speech

Fiction
The Test of Time
iPhone app
TapQuiz Maps - free iPhone Geography Game

Biology
Animal Printouts
Biology Label Printouts
Biomes
Birds
Butterflies
Dinosaurs
Food Chain
Human Anatomy
Mammals
Plants
Rainforests
Sharks
Whales
Physical Sciences: K-12
Astronomy
The Earth
Geology
Hurricanes
Landforms
Oceans
Tsunami
Volcano
Languages
Dutch
French
German
Italian
Japanese (Romaji)
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish
Geography/History
Explorers
Flags
Geography
Inventors
US History

Other Topics
Art and Artists
Calendars
College Finder
Crafts
Graphic Organizers
Label Me! Printouts
Math
Music
Word Wheels

Click to read our Privacy Policy

E-mail


Enchanted Learning Search

Search the Enchanted Learning website for:



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Advertisement.



Copyright ©1996-2016 EnchantedLearning.com ------ How to cite a web page