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A fundimental conundrum concerning gigantic theropods



There has been a lot of discussion on this list lately about Tyrannosaurs and 
fatal falls.  Basically, some people have argued that Tyrannosaurs would have 
been so prone to fatal falls when running at high speeds, that they - as a 
rule - had to stick to "absurdly" slow speeds around 25 km/h; speeds that 
their bodies seem to show that they could far exceed.

If this were so, a fundimental question arises?  If bipedality is _so_
unstable, why is it EVER "selected" for?  Even more telling is if big,
running bipeds are _so_ unstable, why did at least four seperate
theropod lineages independantly evolve gigantic sizes (Neoceratosaurs,
Spinosaurs, Allosaurs and Tyrannosaurs) and be designed for running
faster than 25 km/h?  If it was _so_ bad, the very first giant
Abelosaur should have fallen flat on his/her face and died.

This obviously didn't happen.  It seems to me, that in the
evolutionary longrun, being a gigantic, fast predator far outweighs
the possible detriment of falling on its face.  The evidense: at least
four seperate theropod lineages that were seemingly fast animals and
truely gigantic.

Peter Buchholz
gpb6845@msu.oscs.montana.edu

"Stummies?"