Underwater Leaping in Tanystropheus

Added September 21, 2020:
Think about a bubble net, as in humpback whales, coming form the long, dead=air storage vessel that is that elongate trachea. That long neck rotating like an inverted cone to surround confused fish just above the jaws.

Earlier we looked at an underwater bipedal configuration for Tanystropheus. Such a pose would have solved all sorts of neck and balance problems. Here (Fig. 1) is a proposal for using the epipubic bones as caudofemoralis anchors to increase vertical thrust in that environment. Thrust would be used to snare prey or reach the surface for air.

Basically the illustration (Fig. 1) says it all.
Epipubic bones on the large Tanystropheus could have anchored more powerful caudofemoralis muscles to provide more thrust during vertical strikes and trips to the surface. Of course, momentum would have taken Tanystropheus further than shown here.

What were these bones?
Odd chevrons? That’s the best guess so far. Otherwise in close kin there were no large chevrons  and the caudal transverse processes did not extend more than ten caudals back. So, when large thrusters were needed, they grew in this giant in new ways, whichever way helped the most.

Tanystropheus in a vertical strike powered by the enlarged caudofemoralis anchored by the so-called epipubic bones.

Figure 1. Tanystropheus in a vertical strike powered by the enlarged caudofemoralis (in red) anchored by the so-called epipubic bones, which may instead by enlarged and modified chevrons or neomorphs. This push could have been followed by a vertical leap/drift, whether to head to the surface or snatch unwary prey.

Just another crazy thought…

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.

Bassani F 1886. Sui Fossili e sull’ età degli schisti bituminosi triasici di Besano in Lombardia. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali 19:15–72.
Li C 2007. A juvenile Tanystropheus sp.(Protoro sauria: Tanystropheidae) from the Middle Triassic of Guizhou, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 45(1): 37-42.
Meyer H von 1847–55. Die saurier des Muschelkalkes mit rücksicht auf die saurier aus Buntem Sanstein und Keuper; pp. 1-167 in Zur fauna der Vorwelt, zweite Abteilung. Frankfurt.
Nosotti S 2007. Tanystropheus longobardicus (Reptilia, Protorosauria: Reinterpretations of the anatomy based on new specimens from the Middle Triassic of Besano (Lombardy, Northern Italy). Memorie della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano, Vol. XXXV – Fascicolo III, pp. 1-88
Peyer B 1931. Tanystropheus longobardicus Bass sp. Die Triasfauna der Tessiner Kalkalpen. Abhandlungen Schweizerische Paläontologie Gesellschaft 50:5-110.
Wild R 1973. Die Triasfauna der Tessiner Kalkalpen XXIII. Tanystropheus longobardicus(Bassani) (Neue Ergebnisse). – Schweizerische Paläontologische Abhandlungen 95: 1-16.


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