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Re: Rex Fall part 2

Jeffery Martz writes;

>    From dropping straight down?  In any case, no on has
>anwswered my challange that the ribs and scalulae would be as ill
>suited to sustain the impact forces as any other bones.  Remember
>that the relationship between bone strength and mass is not
>linear.  Finally, the lack of impact broken bones may only
>indicate that T.rexs were by and large being careful to avoid falling, which
>is what I've been arguing.

Nitpicky detail, but rib cages tend to be rather flexible structures
(otherwise, the animal wouldn't be able to breath).  This flexibility could
absorb some of the impact of the animal falling on it's chest, and perhaps
help prevent breakage.  In this senario, perhaps the only damage Rex may
have taken was to have the wind knocked out of it.

Through this, we have forgotten a minor part of _T. rex_ anatomy, one that
might have played a major role in falls: the arms.  What if the arms acted
as shock absorbers, helping to cushion the fall.  This could explain why
Rex arms were so strong, as they were able to counter the force generated
in a fall.  One other thought: perhaps as Rex fell, it brought it's arms
into play to catch itself, and then to push itself up into a normal stance
(based on the martial arts concept of redirecting forces), all within the
span of one stride.  If this is true, there would be no anatomical reason
for Rex to keep to slow speeds during a chase.

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist

"If you're falling from a cliff, you might as well try to fly."