Dinosaur (DK Eyewitness Books) by David Lambert

By David Lambert

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Muscles running along the topside of the neck raised the head BRACED FOR HEADY HEIGHTS Powerful neck muscles lifted Brachiosaurus’s head and a strong heart pumped blood up to its brain. This sauropod’s neck was supported at the base in the same way that the movable jib (projecting arm) of a crane is supported by a tower and base. Raising the heavy load of the head and neck would have been difficult for Brachiosaurus due to the effects of gravity. This is why all sauropod necks needed bracing, which came from the muscles, tendons, and the cablelike ligament above the neck bones.

This meant that the jaws could not only gape wide apart, but could also expand outward to engulf huge chunks of meat. TYRANNOSAUR ATTACK This Tarbosaurus (“terrible lizard”) has clamped its powerful jaws on the neck of a young Barsboldia—a hadrosaur named after Mongolian paleontologist Rinchen Barsbold. Both dinosaurs lived in the eastern part of central Asia, late in the Cretaceous Period. Tarbosaurus grew nearly as huge as its American cousin Tyrannosaurus, and, like its relative, probably preyed on hadrosaur herds.

They were covered with either horny sheaths, skin, or fatty tissue. But scientists still argue about the exact purpose of these structures. Sail or ridge Slender snout HEATED DEBATE Some scientists believe that Stegosaurus’s plates may have been covered in skin. The blood vessels below the skin would adjust the body temperature by absorbing heat if the plates faced the Sun, and shedding heat if not. But others believe that the plates were covered in dead tissue like horn, which contains no blood vessels, and so the plates couldn’t have functioned as heat exchangers.

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