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Re: T. rex



  By happy coincidence, I was reading about the teeth and jaw structure of T.rex
in _THE_DINOSAURIA_ last night. The teeth of rex are designed to cut big chunks
of flesh out of an animal, as opposed to grabbing hold of something and hanging
onto it. If you look at a side view of rex's head, you will see that the tooth
line is shaped like a scapel blade. Front a front view, the side teeth are in
a neat line. Hence in biting, each next tooth takes a little bit bigger sawcut
than the tooth in front of it.
  The implication is that rex did not hunt like eg. dogs will, grabbing hold of
something and shaking it (not that anything could shake a Triceratops!). Instead
I envision rex as stalking its prey like a lion does. It was probably colored
with camouflage (green?), sneaking through trees and bushes until it got close
enough to make a short(!) sprinting lunge. It would take a large bite of flesh,
and back off until its prey died of shock and blood-loss. This seems the only
prudent way to attack something as dangerous as Triceratops.
  Thus it needs a large jaw, and does not need its forearms at all for attack.
If you look at the proportion of forelimb to body size over the development of
carnosaurs, I think you'll find that it decreased from the Jurassic to the late
Cretaceous. Conclusion: as the animals got bigger, they attacked with their
jaws, not their forelimbs. Thus the forelimbs, if they had any use at all, were
not required to keep pace with increases in size.

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer