Sauropods, such as Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, were immense, four-footed dinosaurs. By their fossils, researchers know that their unique skeletal design features were specially equipped to support their bulk. In a recent Nature report, an attempt to trace an evolutionary backstory for each of these features clung doggedly to evolution despite the evidence against it—evidence highlighted in the article itself.
Fredric Heeren wrote in Nature that sauropods’ long necks allowed them a wide reach through the treetops, so they could gather foliage without having to continually move their massive bodies. In this way, they were able to obtain food fast enough to maintain their size. Some of the largest may have required up to a ton of vegetation per day. Heeren wrote:
That kind of feeding required long necks, which would have been impossibly heavy if they were built with solid vertebrae. But large sauropods had vertebrae riddled with holes. These air-filled, or pneumatic, bones weighed only about 35% as much as solid ones.1
Thus, sauropods had hollowed vertebrae and small brains, which meant small heads, to lighten the overall load placed on their necks. Also, the “pelvis and limbs” of sauropods were very different from those of much smaller dinosaurs, having extra sacral vertebrae and interlocking leg bones that formed pillars which “created a frame sturdy enough to support their heft,” according to Heeren.1
Sauropods also grew very quickly during their juvenile years, so that their sheer size soon became their best defense against predators. Imaginary transitional semi-sauropods, with the slower growth rates of other dinosaurs and without large, tooth-adorned jaws, or horns, claws, or clubs for defense, may well have been too easily eaten—thus putting a stop to evolutionary progress….
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