5 November 2015 at 17:59:40 MST
Went for the painterly end of things this time. The first image that came to my head was of the sun shining through those cervical spines.
"Paulina Carabajal and colleagues (2014) ct-scanned the skull, allowing for the generation of three-dimensional models of both the cranial endocast (the cast of the brain cavity) and the inner ear. Using these models, the cranial endocast was shown to encompass 94 to 98 milliliters (0.025 to 0.026 U.S. gallons) in volume. The inner ear was 30 millimeters (1.2 inches) tall and 22 millimeters (0.87 inches) wide. The lagena, the part containing the hair cells for hearing, was rather short, indicating that the sense of hearing would have been poorer in Amargasaurus than in other sauropods for which inner ears have been studied.
The first skeletal reconstructions show the skull in a near horizontal posture. Salgado (1999) argued that such a posture would have been anatomically impossible due to the elongated neural spines of the neck vertebrae. Instead, he envisaged the head in a nearly vertical orientation. The habitual orientation of the head usually is reflected by the orientation of the semicircular canals of the inner ear, which housed the sense of balance (vestibular system). Using their three-dimensional model of the inner ear, Carabajal and colleagues suggested that the snout faced downwards at an angle of ca. 65° relative to the horizontal. A similar value has recently been proposed for the related Diplodocus. The neutral posture of the neck can be approximated based on how the cervical vertebrae attached to each other. According to Carabajal and colleagues, the neck was gently sloping downwards, so that the snout would have rested some 80 cm above the ground in neutral posture. In reality, neck posture would have varied according to the respective activities of the animals. Raising of the neck, e.g. for reaching an alert position, would have been constricted by the elongated neural spines, not permitting heights greater than 270 cm." - Wikipedia
Art © 2015 Stephanie Dziezyk