STL Science Center

STL Science Center

21 February 2012

Remember Yesterday?

Remember how I said it would be awesome if I could find papers with opposing views on the purpose of the high spiked vertebral column of Ouranosaurus? I was excited at the prospect, finding two differing opinions on why there was such a large ridge of bone extending upward from the backs of these animals sounded like a pretty intriguing debate. I did find one article that debates it, but it is stored on JSTOR which means there is no entire article version available for free where I found it. It raises the question in its title of sail back versus buffalo back for this dinosaur. JB Bailey's proposal is not highly looked upon by all scientists at any rate, such as Brian Switek, who wrote about it a while back in his own blog Laelaps. My personal opinion is that the large hump idea, while it has merit for a desert dwelling animal which sees little to no rain for greater parts of the year, as is surmised for Rapetosaurus with its intriguing vertebrae, I do not believe it has been proven that either Spinosaurus or Ouranosaurus lived in conditions which would merit the need for the hump over the growth of a sail and additionally, the bones are quite different from an animal with a hump:

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