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Re: Ceratopian forelimbs



On Sat, 3 Feb 1996 Stang1996@aol.com wrote:

> <<Actually, by holding the feet out to the side, it spreads the total weight
> of
> the animal over a wide area.  This would reduce the total load on the
> forefeet.>>
> 
> NO IT WOULDN'T!  The weight that the forefeet bear would be the same if they
> were spread out far or put close together, put way up front or shoved way
> back.  The weight is the same.  The only way to reduce the total load on the
> forefeet is if they happened to be resting on a rock a few thousand
> kilometers above the Earth where there would be a big enough reduction in the
> Earth's gravity to be noticible.
> 
> Peter Buchholz
> Stang1996@aol.com
> 
Another way would be if the poor animal would sit on its haunches, like a 
dog ;)

Apparently the original poster misunderstood the definition of stress.  
It is load (force) divided by the *bearing* area (in this case the 
contact area of the front feet with the ground), not the area of the 
shadow the animal would cast. 

Leslie Gertsch
research assistant professor
Earth Mechanics Institute
Colorado School of Mines