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Re: T.rex cover



>>    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.

>damn few
>Cretaceous forest trees in Montana would be likely to shelter T.
>rex sized animals (perhaps a paleobotanist can add data here?)

Remember that the old models of T.rex standing fully erect (20' tall)
are no longer valid. With a modern model of T.rex's stance, the
highest point on the animal would be the hips (10' tall?). I may be
wrong, but I thought that the ferns or whatever that made up the Cretaceous
landscape would grow this high. There were certainly trees much taller
than 10' for a T.rex to hide behind. Even rolling landscape would be
sufficient to get a rex within sprinting distance of its prey. Especially
if the models of herbivores, like Triceratops, being slow-witted animals
with poor sense of smell, are correct.
I think that the literally ground-shaking approach of the rex in "Jurassic
Park" is pure Hollywood drama. I suspect that a rex could move surprisingly
silently if it wanted to. It would certainly not bellow its presence like in
the movie until after it had made a kill. Otherwise every potential meal
within miles would already be on the run.
If the estimates of rex's weight at 4-5 tons is correct, this is comparable
to a bull elephant, which is capable of outrunning a man (20 mph?).

Scott Horton
Geophysicist/Computer Programmer