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Re: JP and Falling T-Rex (Take 3?)

 From: Mark Sumner <range@inlink.com>
 > We've rehashed the "falling T. rex" on this list quite extensively, 
 > ... Perhaps they -simply didn't fall-.  It would be quite easy to 
 > demonstrate that the rock climbing life style of mountain goats is 
 > unlikely, as a single slip would result in their crashing to their 
 > death.  But the goats persist in clinging to their perches.

Indeed.  This is a good point.

I saw a dramatic demonstration of a goat's rock-climbing ability
the other weekend when I went to the San Diego zoo.

The enclosure for one of the smaller ?Asian? goats had decorative
bas-relief fake stones in its wall. These produced a "ledge" of about
an inch depth.

Yet the goat *jumped* some five feet up and landed four-footed on
this minute ledge, and stood there for a few moments, looking up at
the fence above.

 > Falls by a T. rex might have caused injury, but they might have
 > been such rare events that the need for greater speed outweighed
 > any threat of rare falls. 

Another good point - natural selection is great at making fine level
cost-benefit trade-offs.  As long as the benefit of the speed exceeds
the *net* cost, evolution *will* favor it.

 > T. rex was a predator, and it had to catch its prey.  Unless you
 > are ready to bog the whole Creatceous in an endothermic slow dance,
 > I seriously doubt that T. rex would have any trouble outpacing
 > such a poky creature as a human being.

Espacially at that size.  It is not as if it would have to "run" very
*far* to catch one of us little folk.  A couple of steps would probably
be sufficient.

Of course the question of whether a T.rex would even *bother* with
trying to catch such a small mouthful as a human becomes relevent
here. [How often do wolves eat mice?]

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@ix.netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.