Monday, September 21, 2009

Shawty Got Loh, Loh, Loh, Loh, Loh, Loh, Loh, Loh

better, stronger, faster dinosaur
Photo by MiranC, via flickr

This morning I experienced one of those odd moments that likely gave birth to the idea of "psychic powers." As I scanned my ever-expanding list of Google Reader subscriptions for new morsels of mesozoica, I wondered if any of the science podcasts I subscribe to had hit upon dinosaurs recently. Indeed, the latest item in The Loh Down on Science, "Long Necks," dealt with sauropod neck posture. I don't make a habit of listening to the Loh Down very often, for the simple and shallow reason that Sandra Loh's voice just kind of annoys me. But it was dinosaur related, so I figured I needed to hear what she had to say about the ongoing sauropod neck posture debate.

Not much, naturally, as their scripts are limited to 125 words or so. The episode dealt with Roger Seymour's hypothesis that the sauropod heart could not have possibly supplied its brain with blood if its head was held high - therefore, it is more likely that sauropods held their necks roughly parallel to the ground, feeding over a wide area rather than at the tree tops. I guess what's odd to me is that the original paper was published almost ten years ago, and this issue has been active this year with the SV-POW crew's dissenting paper on neck posture a few months ago. It's a topic that probably deserves a lot more than 125 words to discuss right now, while other recent discoveries, such as the new Australian species, or the discovery of melanosomes preserved in fossil feathers, could be discussed pretty easily in such a medium.

PS. I know, I know. Cool it with the Hip Hop and R&B parodies in my titles...

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