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Re: ALLOSAURUS TAIL



  > 
 > I RECENTLY VISITED THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND WAS
 > IMPRESSED BY THE ALLOSAURUS MOUNT, ESPECIALLY THE LENGTH OF ITS TAIL.
 > THE STATE MUSEUM (MORRILL HALL) IN LINCOLN, NEBRASKA ALSO HAS AN
 > ALLOSAURUS MOUNT, BUT THE TAIL LENGTH IS NOT ANYWHERE NEAR AS LONG AS
 > CLEVELAND'S MOUNT.  BOTH ALLOSAURUS APPEAR COMPLETE AND NO SPECIALIZATIONS
 > APPEAR TO INDICATE IT WAS RIGID (HELD OUT TO AID IN BALANCE).
 > IS IT POSSIBLE THAT AN ELONGATED TAIL MAY HAVE AIDED IN SWIMMING?

No.  It has the wrong shape for a swimming tail.  A swimming
tail is flattened on one axis - as in the tall flat tails of
crocodiles and alligators.

Just because it has no special adaptations for rigidity does
not mean it was not held up in the air.  Mostly it means it
was both flexible *and* held in the air.

The evidence that this is, indeed how most, or even all, dinosaurs
carried their tail is fairly strong.  It includes not only skeletal
evidence, but also trackway evidence.

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.