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Gate motion, chaos or selection?



Hello all,

Re recent tail club use and motion thread.

In the event the tail club, in alky's, was put to use during the fleeing
episodes of it's life there surely would be some swinging motion of the
tail. The tail would have to whip, to some extent, because of the
hieghtened mass at the end, if it swung at all. This would provide a
minimal spending of energy reserves, and might have acted as a
counterbalance to assist running, ( acient long jumping atheletes carried
stones in each hand ).

The "gate" that the alky travelled at would impact this scenario, and
different speeds and motions of the bulbous end of the tail would result, I
think(?).  At top speed, which would be my speed if a big therapod was
after me, that boney tail club just might get a mind of it's own (goin'
everywhich way). Even a veteran T-rex might loose a few teeth trying to
figure out this chaotic menace. Distraction, in this predator-prey
interaction, might involve the therapod gaining a great deal of respect for
these quadraped tanks. Of course that's IMHO. :-)

Now, if my thinking is anywhere in the ballpark it raises more questions.
In the evolution of this(these) trait(s) was it happenstance that this
club-like "invention" was not developed in other species? If the reason it
developed is for intraspecies combat, or sexual display, then it would seem
to explain the uniqueness of the trait. Maybe the bigger your tail features
the more popular you became until everyone had to have one just like it,
and it was so.

Maybe the club developed to protect their offspring from smaller predators.
You could swing your tail over your nest while looking away from it. Nest
robbers beware! Stomping on all fours and whipping that skull buster around
makes these creatures bad enough. Add the protective plating and it seems
to me blood few little egg stealers would stand a chance, even enmass,
again that's IMHO. :-)

Gives a whole new meaning to,"Let's go clubbin'!".

Roger A. Stephenson
rstephen@cswnet.com