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re: T. rex



Not to be a wet blanket, but none of the respondants considered T. rex as
a scavenger, which would conceivably help explain the mini arms.  Granted
Albertosaurus/Gorogosaurus and a batch of other tyrannosaurids had
similar appendages.

    I am impressed by studies suggesting T. rex (and by approximation, adult
Albertosaurus, Daspletosaurus, Tarbosaurus, and the whole gamut of
oversized relatives as adults) had insufficient femoral bone mass to
sustain running speed (e.g. R. M. Alexander, "How dinosaurs ran" in
Scientific American, --I'll dig up the date and page if anyone's interested).
If this is correct, then its unlikely they were (at least) pursuit
predators.  Given that ceratopsians _could_ gallop by the same analysis,
as could hadrosaurs, T. rex must have been either an ambush predator
or a scavenger.  THe latter seems more parsimonious to me, given the
size (and smell?) of the beasts.

David Schwimmer
schwimm@uscn.cc.uga.edu