Did dinosaurs hold their heads up?

Some dinosaurs may have held their heads up, like a giraffe, rather than in a more horizontal position, University of Portsmouth scientists report today.

The team studied the posture of living animals and concluded that the sauropods, which include dinosaurs such as Diplodocus, held their heads upright for most of the time.

Sauropods typically had huge bodies, long necks and stout legs and weighed about as much as 10 elephants. They were plant-eating dinosaurs and lived in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

This new research, however, isn't enough of a reason to change the posture of the dinosaurs on display at the Natural History Museum, according to Museum dinosaur expert Dr Paul Barrett.

'It is not unreasonable to suggest that their necks may have been held in a vertical position for some of the time,' says Dr Barrett. 'But sauropod lifestyles would have required necks with a wide range of movement, not least to reach down to drink water from ground level, as well as being able to move the neck from side to side.'

'There is no scientific justification for changing the sauropod mounts in our galleries: these positions definitely reflect at least some of the poses that sauropods would have been able to adopt in life.’

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