Dinosaur skeletons not whipping their hair back and forth

Source: Science Daily

Dinosaur skeletons are commonly found in a singular body position, known as the opisthotonic posture, in which the head and neck are twisted back. This posture was thought to result from death spasms, that is, impairment of the cerebellum, resulting in a loss of control of the muscles holding up the head and neck. However, researchers Achim Reisdorf and Michael Wuttke have proposed that the twisted posture is not caused until after death. They proposed that if the decaying dinosaur bodies were swept into the water, they would quickly twist into the arched position. By examining the movement of and dissecting modern-day chicken necks, the scientists were able to show a twisting reaction when immersed in water and were also able to pinpoint the muscle, the Ligamentum elasticum, that caused this movement.

 


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