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Re: Airbagged(was Dive!Dive!Dive!)

Jeffery Martz writes;

>[Wolves] are a lot smaller and built lower to the ground then T.rex.  If 
>you look at yet smaller animals, I think you would find they are generally 
>faster and more manuverable in dense settings.  Try chasing a snake, 
>you may find it surprisingly hard to catch.  

Decent analogy, provided that Rex was going after animals like
Leptoceratops.  I think a better analogy would be for a person to try
to catch a mule deer (or something else roughly our size).  Even an
animal the size of an elk can maneuver in a forest with little
difficulty.  The densest part of the forest, where fast running is
difficult, is avoided so the animal can have an advantage over any
wolf that has elk on the menu.

>> Perhaps these features could represent the combined needs of being a running
>> predator, as well as living in a bayou?
>      Or being a running predator and a large predator.  Either way, I 
>think you are compromising speed for another factor (a small 
>animal that lives in a dense setting shortens its legs to get more 
>manuverable, presumably because manuverability is more important in such 
>a setting than flat out speed). 

This assumes that Rex wandered through dense jungle, like the kind one
sees in a "Tarzan" movie.  Since Edmontosaurus and Triceratops
wouldn't feed in these areas, there would be no reason for Rex to be
there.  I suspect that Rex hunted around the fringes of the forest
(which is the most ecologically diverse area, BTW), where the dense
shrubbery would help to conceal the animal, allowing it to get the
drop on any herbivore it wanted.

Besides, I wouldn't call a Rex drumstick short by any standard (Hey,
it tastes like chicken).

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

"Villans everywhere, I say to you: KNOCK OF ALL THAT EVIL!"
        -The Tick