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Re: dino mimicry
>And unless the tail was detachable, like those of many modern lizards,
>what's the point of fooling the predator? So it bites the wrong end first.
>So what? Unless it breaks all its teeth on the bone club . . .
>** Steve Jackson - yes, of SJ Games - yes, we won the USSS case - fnord **
> yes, INWO is out - http://io.com/sjgames/ - dinosaurs, Lego, Kahlua!
Wellll.... If I was an ankylosaur, I would much prefer a theropod to "nibble
my bum" than rip my throat out. ;-)
For starters, I would have to say that if a theropod attacked the wrong end,
you would have a much better chance of surviving (which is, after all, the
name of the game [if you'll pardon the pun]). If the theropod "thought" that
it was attacking the head of an ankylosaur and made for a throat/head/neck
bite, it would rip a chunk out of the ankylosaurs tail, but would be less
likely to kill it. The ankylosaur would be given an extra opportunity to
escape, use the tail club, whatever.
Alternatively, the theropod could be "confused" (probably not too difficult
with theropods) by a) a two headed creature(which end to attack), or b)
attacking the wrong end ("what's going on here?!? I just ripped his throat
out and he's walking away backwards."). Much of mimicry is designed to
confuse or startle, not totally disguise (which is a different, albeit
similar defense mechanism). If your enemy is confused by an encounter long
enough for you to get away, then you survive to become theropod bait another
The ankylosaur would not need to look like another species of dinosaur, just
like an ankylosaur facing the other direction. The club could perform double
duty as a weapon and pseudo-ankylosaur-head.
Unfortunately, I will have to wait until I can get a copy of the paper to
know whether or not I agree with the idea. But it certainly _sounds_
plausable (it may look different on paper though).