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Clayton, NM Trackway



Hi again all,

I'm not sure what dino's made the traces, for sure. I'll have to refer to
notes at home, but I think the site is from the Creataceous. Anyway the signs
at the unsupervised public site states that the mark in question has been
determined to be a tail mark. Whether drug or slapped against the mud I don't
know. The evidence is quite clear to even this novice that it wasn't  a
gators belly ( or a well endowed male  ;-)  ). Like I said previously, I also
doubt that this was a common thing in the dino world. However to rule out any
possiblity seems illogical. Maybe we can get someone from the New Mexico
Museum of Natural History to fill in the gaps in my failing memory.

The idea of using the tail for a third leg, in sticky (ha) situations,
doesn't seem all that far fetched to me. Bipedal dinos surely would have had
to be really careful while ambling about in mud flats. If you've ever dug
clams you know how slippery that slime in a tidal flat can be, and a digging
tool works great for a third leg. For that matter wet  bentonite can get
slick as well. The possiblity that tail stablization is a null factor feels
as wrong as believing dinos let their tails drag over every surface they
encountered. I am sure there were some species that simply could not easily
bring their tail into contact with the earth while standing normally. Then
again, I doubt that any dinosaur, of the two-footed variety, stood normally
on a mud flat. I sure can't!

Roger A. Stephenson
lightwaves@aol.com