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Re: T.rex



> In point of fact, most animals have evolved "threat displays" which are
> employed when facing adversaries of unknown capabilities.  We can
> presume that a 'rex could tell the jeep was a "new thing" and a tree
> wasn't, and to be insecure when facing one.

I can tell by reading the comments on this subject that no one has any 
experience with horses. :)  Horses are notoriously poor generalizers 
(that is, if you replace one kind of a trash can with another kind, a 
horse may not recognize it as a trash can anymore), and often spook at 
scary things like piles of gravel or birds.

Granted that T. rex is not a flight-defense herbivore, but can we really 
write off the thought that a totally unknown object like a jeep might not 
bring forth a bellow of confusion, if nothing else?  After all, didn't 
she run across the jeeps at night with their headlamps on?  That would 
look pretty scary to an animal totally unused to man and his machines, 
IMO.

Just my $.02 worth.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jamie Schrumpf                                  Internet: moncomm@clark.net 
Monrovia Communications              | Opinions ARE those of the company! |
Monrovia, MD USA 21770               | Mainly because I _AM_ the company. |



On Mon, 13 Jun 1994 larrys@zk3.dec.com wrote:

> 
> >I guess you and the rex think alike, regarding inanimate objects (jeeps)
> >as potential adversaries. I wonder if she also bellows at rocks and trees?
> 
> In point of fact, most animals have evolved "threat displays" which are
> employed when facing adversaries of unknown capabilities.  We can presume
> that a 'rex could tell the jeep was a "new thing" and a tree wasn't, and
> to be insecure when facing one.  The threat display would be quite definitive
> normally - perform it, and a prey animal will run, and a non-prey animal
> will perform its own threat display, or one of submission.  The jeep did
> none of the above, which would be confusing to any predator in the 'rex's
> position.
> 
> >I remember her bellowing once to try
> >to frighten one of the people into running. This was because her vision
> >wouldn't register stationary prey, which seems very unlikely
> 
> One of the many weirdities in the book.  We can presume the ocular 
> deficiencies
> in the book (which were carried over into the movie without comment) were due
> to the use of frog DNA - all visual problems shown were similar to normal
> frog vision, which is almost literally inoperative until a moving object has
> passed the retinal prescanners and been identified as a non-background motion
> implying food or a threat.  Tests on frogs show the optic nerve remains quiet
> no matter what the frog is looking at until some sort of threat or food is
> presented.  This is utter nonsense in dinosaurs (vegetarian dinosaurs as
> depicted in the book would quickly starve to death since the reflex to eat
> could not be triggered, nor could the dinosaur eat something not in motion
> if it were.  Presumeably a 'rex's vision would be at least as good as a
> 'raptor.  One of the many places where Crichton did not think things through.
> 
> But the thing that bugged me the most about the movie was taking the perfectly
> satisfactory dinosaurs from real prehistoric fossils and replacing two of them
> with funky hollywoodized mutants.  The 'raptor was saved from utter stupidity
> only by the fortuitous discovery of utahraptor, which was at least the right
> size, though the head configuration was quite different, but - oh! - what they
> did to the poor dilophosaurus.  I could have bought the "discovery" of a
> poisonous bite or even of spitting in an appropriately-sized dinosaur - OR
> even the neck-frill.  But certainly not both at once _combined_ with a drastic
> size reduction, it just wasn't a dilophosaur when they were done with it.  If
> they really had to have such an improbable creature, they should have based
> it on something else, or even just given it a plausible scientific name and 
> note
> that it was "never found in the fossil record, a surprise found in an ancient
> mosquito left for us here - in Jurassic Park".  But no, just swipe the name,
> most people will never know the difference.  Like the stupid D&D "rust 
> monster"
> with the propellor beanie tail that's been showing up in plastic dinosaur
> blister packs for years before the movie caused all the makers to revamp their
> product lines - though I found another one in Toy-R-Us just a few months ago.
> Argh!
> 
> Larry Smith
> larrys@alpha.zk3.dec.com
>