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Re: Rex Fall part 2



Jeffrey Martz wrote:
 
>       "Momentary" is the important thing.  Fighter pilots build up the 
> gs more gradually.  I think if they were to go from 1 to 6 gs in an instant, 
> they would be massively smushed.  With a T.rex impact, we are talking 
> about a virtually intantaneous deceleration (someone with a little more 
> physics knowledge let me know if the build up acceleration and 
> deceleration is really relevant, or if there is more to it).     
 
Again. you assuming that any large animal, if falling beyond a chance of 
recovery would automatically fall like a ton of bricks.  I don't believe any 
animal will fall like this if they can help it.

I was distracted by a friend today and slipped on the ice outside and fell.  
This made me start thinking about this thread and how I have never really 
fallen hard without trying to lessen the impact except when a) I was pushed 
hard and b) when I fainted.

I would probably bet money on the fact that when a bipedal animal learns to 
walk it falls a lot and learns how to take falls to lessen the impact of 
falling hard.  Humans learn to fall on their butts, but not their tailbones 
if they fall backwards, and learn to break their fall with their arms, so 
they don't smash their head if falling forward.  Likewise a Tyrannosaur (or 
Allosaur or Camptosaur or whatever) would probably learn how to take falls 
when they learn to walk bipedally, rather than not learning and dying as a 
result of falling like a ton of bricks when they were fully grown.  Probably 
doing some obvoious things like lifting their head, landing on their shoulder 
etc..  In the short term, T rex could possibly have broken its shoulder, but 
hey, at least it didn't use its face as a plow (and die as a result).

> leg.  If recovering from a trip was so simple, bipeds would never fall.

When was the last time you fell?  The last time I fell (besides this morning) 
was probably four years ago (not counting skiing etc..) when I fainted.  
Tripping in bipeds is probably very common, but actually falling down isn't.

>       Just because you don't get run over every time you cross the street 
> without looking doesn't mean it isn't dangerous.  Farlow et all noted 
> that not every fall would be fatal depending on the circumstances,

A very good point, and it obviously doesn't make T rex an obligately slow 
animal because it'd be scared of falling.  The overall gains from being a 
big, fast carnivore outway the possible hazards by a tremendous margin.  So 
what if one T rex couldn't recover from being tripped?  One hundred more are 
eating fresh Triceratops.

Peter Buchholz
gpb6845@msu.oscs.montana.edu

"Stummies?"