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re:T rex hunting techniques



Betty Cunningham wrote:

>Now how easy would it be for an animal that can't see where it's own
>feet are, which is paying attention to what ever it's chasing, that
>may be walking or running over cross-country terrain, to trip?  I
>wouldn't do the things that T rex probably did at a run, but then,
>I've got a bigger brain, and I'm not extinct yet.

Most animals don't watch their feet, no matter what they're doing.  A
stalking cat, for example, keeps its eyes fixed on its prey, regardless of
the terrain.  Take your eyes off of your prey, and it could disappear.
Similarly, during a chase, neither predator nor prey is going to be watching
its feet.  
Try this:  put your hand, in any position, behind your back.  Chances are,
you'll be able to "tell" in what position it is, even though you can't see
it.  You can "feel" the angles of your fingers, etc.  That's because you
have kinesthetic sensory neurons throughout your body.  Other animals have
them too, of course.  Even though a _T. rex_ couldn't actually "see" its
feet or tail, it would "know" where they are and what they are doing.  If
its foot contacted something which it didn't expect, I see three
possibilities, depending on the size/strength of the object: 
1)  It would stumble slightly,
2)  It would "stub its toe," probably resulting in an aborted chase attempt,
3)  It would stumble catastrophically, resulting in a face plant.

I doubt that #3 really happened all that often, but that's just me.  One
possible test is this:  how often do bipedal cursors such as an ostrich
actually fall on their faces during a run?  If/when they DO fall, how do
they do it?  Is it actually a "face plant," or do they somehow manage to
fall on their side (which would seem to be somewhat safer)?

My $.03 for now :o)
Derek Smith