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re:Dinosaur Hunting techniques



     >In this way, it can often catch a gazelle long before the gazelle has 
     >a chance to reach its top speed (at which point a lion has absolutely 
     >no chance of success).
     
     You don't mention that lions tend to have multiple animals bringing 
     down larger prey, not just attacking one-on-one.  This seems to be 
     determined mostly on how hungry the pride is when the prey is brought 
     down.  So a baby gazelle may be brought down one-on-one, but an adult 
     gazelle/wildebeast/zebra may be brought down by several individuals.  
     How does this affect your theory?
     
     >As a slight aside, it is curious to note that, as in the case of the 
     >cheetah, most analyses of animal locomotion concentrate on limb 
     >movement patterns and speed.  Very rarely, if at all, are such 
     >factors as the acceleration abilities considered.  Cheetahs are known 
     >to be good high speed runners.  But no one really knows how quickly 
     >they can reach those speeds, because that sort of research has just 
     >not been done.
     
     Well, they have.  Didn't you know that they race cheetahs like 
     greyhounds in Egypt and other Arabian countries (or they used to 
     during French occupations, and much earlier)?
     
       Why, in your discussions of the physiology of the animals, lions, 
     cheetahs, and T rexs, do you consider lions, being a very robust 
     animal, like cheetahs, and not like T rex, also a very robust animal. 
       T rexs certainly aren't gracile in any way.  Cheetahs are very 
     gracile.  They have flexible spines so that in the full gallop their 
     spines ripple like a trampoline.  I don't picture T rex's spine doing 
     anything so undignified during a run.  I can see (perhaps) something 
     smaller and more elegant of form like Veloceraptor or Deinonychus 
     developing along  the lines of a speedster like the cheetah, but not 
     ol' brick T rex.  He's built like a truck, not a Ferrari.  Perhaps 
     even Allosaurus fragilus might be considered to be a speedier design, 
     but T rex?  
        I think your point about tendons is valid, but I believe T rex's 
     adaptations were more for being the biggest kid on the block, not the 
     fastest.
     
     -Betty Cunningham
     (bcunning@nssi.com at work)
     (bettyc@flyinggoat.com in the studio)
     
     (and what with all the fused tendons along most therapods' tails,  you 
     don't see the completely supple spine like in a cheetah, anyways.  
     Therapods spines seem to have been reinforced to prevent exactly that 
     kind of movement.)