Head and Neck Posture in Sauropod Dinosaurs Inferred from Extant Animals

@inproceedings{Taylor2009HeadAN,
  title={Head and Neck Posture in Sauropod Dinosaurs Inferred from Extant Animals},
  author={Michael P Taylor and Mathew John Wedel and Darren Naish},
  year={2009}
}
The neck posture of sauropod dinosaurs has long been controversial. Recent reconstructions position the cervical vertebrae and skull in an “osteological neutral pose” (ONP), the best fit arrived at by articulating the vertebrae with the zygapophyses in maximum contact. This approach in isolation suggests that most or all sauropods held their necks horizontally. However, a substantial literature on extant amniotes (mammals, turtles, squamates, crocodilians and birds) shows that living animals do… 

The Articulation of Sauropod Necks: Methodology and Mythology

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Osteologically, the pronounced opisthocoely and conformal central and zygapophyseal articular surfaces strongly constrain the reconstruction of the cervical vertebral column; Behaviorally, modern vertebrates generally assume characteristic neck postures which are close to the intrinsic curvature of the undeflected neck.

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  • G. Paul
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TLDR
The process of mounting a nearly complete virtual skeleton of Spinophorosaurus nigerensis, from the Middle (?) Jurassic of Niger, has revealed several previously unknown osteological adaptations in this taxon, suggesting that at least the last common ancestor of Eusauropoda developed high browsing capabilities, partially due to the modified wedged sacrum.
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