STL Science Center

STL Science Center

26 July 2014

Where's Your Neck?

©Nobu Tamura
As was mentioned yesterday, Cetiosaurus had a conspicuously shorter neck and tail than other sauropods. As a primitive looking member of its family it anatomically represents the lengths between even more basal and more advanced sauropods. Unbeknownst to Owen and other paleontologists of his day they were describing an animal that was neither the first of its kind nor the last. They thought it had an extremely long neck and tail despite its middle-ground length in comparison to presently known taxa. They were correct in stating that it was an herbivore, once they gave up on the idea that it was an early crocodile. Strangely, however, despite its middle-ground appearance and primitive characteristics, this animal was discovered in Late Jurassic sediments, a time during which larger and longer necks and tails were certainly evident in sauropods discovered in North and South America.

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