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RE: _T. rex_ strikes ( was Ceratopsian frills)
>I don't know what it weighed, what its proportions were, or what it
>ate. I think the encyclopedia gave its length at 6 feet and the length
>of a big modern wolf at 5, excluding tails.
I spent the holidays in LA. I went to the Paige museum last Sunday.
(funny story about the tennis ball). Dire wolf skulls are bigger than
modern wolf skulls by maybe 2 inches in length. They are much more
robust then modern wolves. However there are modern dogs that could
equal a Dire wolf's height and mass. A mastiff could, easily.
> Actually, most scavengers are rather odd looking. The largest
> scavengers I know of now are the brown hyena (*not* the larger spotted
> hyena, which hunts), and the two species of condor. Neither is what
> I would call particularly agile.
The primary specimens in La Brea are scavengers............They got
full-time scavengers and part-timers that probably hunted quite capabily
on their own but thought to take advantage of the area. Funny- they
don't have any raccoons out of the pits, and they KNOW that raccoons were
in the LA area at the time from other sites. And raccoons are the most
agile N American scavenger--apes, baboons, and monkeys being even-more
agile types from other parts of the world. Just wanted to mention them
since humans are desended from one particularily agile tool-using
scavenger and we shouldn't be calling the rest odd-looking.
>I think condors eat by checking out a lot of opportunities, not by
>chasing off land animals.
lot of condor bones at la Brea. Condors wait till the larger animals are
willing to put up with the condor sneaking in and feeding- but then
condors can't digest fresh meat but must have the meat rotted in order to
let their stomachs process the food. (learned that at the San diego zoo)
So I don't really see why a condor would chase an animal off a fresh
>Among 5 ton animals, I'd expect _Triceratops_, with its short, muscular
>legs, to be much better at quick moves and short sprints than _T rex_.
I think from what you are saying you are trying to project a sort of
Quarter-horse-like agility on the Triceratops.
I epect it's something more like a draft horse.
The draft horse is a very powerful animal, originally bred to carry
knights in the middle ages and fight along side the knight as well, and
was found capabile of putting in long hours of labor on a farm (before
that farmers used smaller-more-easily fed animals). Not as 'agile' an
animal as you are describing, but certainly more powerful and able to
take care of istelf. And closer in size and weight to the more robust