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Re: Dinosaur footprints



>A few comments about dinosaur footprints...
>
>It would be nearly impossible to figure out an animal's top speed by their
>fossilized footprints.  Maybe you could figure out a thing or two about the
>animal's stride, and how many MPH their casual walk was, but NEVER the top
>speed.  A very good point was raised in THE COMPLETE T. REX, a 1993 book by
>Horner and Lessem.

   Using the word "never" is, I think, a bit too much.  Later in your post
you mention ornithomimid speeds of 40mph.  If memory serves, this number was
arrived at by analysis of one good set of ornithomimid footprints.  If 40mph
was its "casual walk," yikes.


>Horner said that footprints are not good evidence for determining top speeds
>of dinosaurs.  The ground needed to be SOFT in order for the footprints to be
>preserved.  Now what dinosaur in her right mind would run top speed in
>slippery mud?  No Tyrannosaurus or Utahraptor I know of.

   A dinosaur running like mad from a predator or a predator that's
extremely hungry would.  Also, "quicksand" mud is not the only medium in
which footprints can be left.

>In all of the
>footprints of dinos. preserved, the creatures that made them were probably
>walking slower and more carefully than they usually do.

   There's one of those words again, "all."  I refer you to the ornithomimid
footprints.

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