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re:Dinosaur Hunting techniques

     >>Because cheetah (and other cat tails) do not have the complex 
     >>structures in the tails of dromaeosaurids etc., they do curve and 
     >>bend while they move. If you watch slow speed films and stills of 
     >>big cats hunting, you'll see them holding them out and up behind 
     >>them, probably the way dromaeosaurids did as well.
     >However, though the tail is stiff, it curves in a variety of ways     
     >that I don't see the reinforced tail of therapods doing.  Just how 
     >flexible do the tendons allow the tail to be?  Are we talking full 
     >rotation of the tail at the point it joins up to the hip?  I see that 
     >in deerhounds (I've been smacked in the face by tails often enough to 
     >know just how flexible they can be)
     >>The tails of dromaeosaurids were incredibly stiff (one of the MAJOR 
     >>anatomical flaws of Jurassic Park was the raptor tails; another was 
     >>the raptor hands).  In dromaeosaurids and birds, the motion would 
     >>all be in the five-to-nine most proximal caudals. In other 
     >>tetanurines, the tail was more flexible, especially out to caudals 
     >>12-15 (coelurosaurs) or 20 (allosauroids and others).  In 
     >>ceratosaurs, the tails were very flexible.
     Having only seen the tendons in illustrations that were all from the 
     side of the animal, can I ask you for clarification?  (I gotta draw 
     pictures at this point, can't help it, it helps me be clearer)
     Top view of tail:          <--head  
      __(hip)              /\(motion)
                      @  @  @  @  @  * * * * * * . . . . .
     where @=dromosaurids
     Which way is this flexible? to the animals' right and left?  to the 
     animals' top and bottom?  The tendons that reinforce this area (again, 
     I've only seen this from the side view) seem to prevent up and down 
     motion and aid side-to-side motion, but in a limited fashion.
     Side view of tail:        <--head
                       @  @  @  @  @  * * * * * * . . . . .
     {___ \___}
        /  \                \/(motion)
       /    \
     (hip)   \
     -Betty Cunningham
     (bcunnin@nssi.com at work)
     (bettyc@flyinggoat.com in the studio)