Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A sauropod walks into a bar: 'Why the long neck?'

Date:
October 30, 2013
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
New research sheds light on the complex evolutionary cascade theory that made the unique gigantism of sauropod dinosaurs possible.

A sauropod walks into a bar. 'Why the long neck?'
Credit: PLOS Collections

A new PLOS Collection featuring research on the complex evolutionary cascade theory that made the unique gigantism of sauropod dinosaurs possible launched on October 30th. This Collection features new research articles that have published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Sauropod dinosaurs were the largest terrestrial animals to roam Earth, exceeding all other land-dwelling vertebrates in both mean and maximal body size. While convergently evolving many features seen in large terrestrial mammals, such as upright, columnar limbs and barrel-shaped trunks, sauropods evolved some unique features, such as the extremely long necks and diminutive heads they are famous for.

The unique gigantism of sauropod dinosaurs has long been recognized as an important problem in the evolution of vertebrates, raising questions as to why no other land-based lineage has ever reached this size, how these dinosaurs functioned as living animals, and how they were able to maintain stable populations over distinct geological periods.

This new PLOS Collection discusses major efforts by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists to understand sauropods as living animals, and to explain their evolutionary success and uniquely gigantic body size.

The articles address these questions from a number of varied disciplinary viewpoints, including those of ecology, engineering, functional morphology, animal nutrition, and palaeontology. For instance, one section features articles from researchers that investigated sauropod mobility and posture, to better understand the reasons for their extremely long necks.

"You could explain gigantism just by looking at the trait of having many small offspring. But our model shows us there were probably several factors," says Dr. P. Martin Sander, a professor at the Steinmann Institute for Geology, Mineralogy and Palaeontology at the University of Bonn, Germany.

Further information: http://www.ploscollections.org/sauropodgigantism


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "A sauropod walks into a bar: 'Why the long neck?'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132850.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2013, October 30). A sauropod walks into a bar: 'Why the long neck?'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132850.htm
Public Library of Science. "A sauropod walks into a bar: 'Why the long neck?'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131030132850.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Study Says Losing Sense Of Smell Can Indicate Death

Newsy (Oct. 2, 2014) Researchers found elderly adults with a poor sense of smell are more likely to die within five years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

Dolphins and Turtles Under Threat in Pakistan

AFP (Oct. 2, 2014) The turtles and Dolphins of Pakistan's Indus river - both protected by law - are in a fight for their survival as man's activities threatens their futures. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

'Harvest Break' Endures in Maine Potato Fields

AP (Oct. 2, 2014) Educators and farmers are clinging to a tradition aimed at giving farmers much-needed help in getting potatoes out of the fields and into storage before the ground freezes in the nation's northeast corner. (Oct. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins