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Re: Sauropod Tails (The End)




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> From: AETHERaptr <AETHERaptr@aol.com>
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu; RogueRaptr@aol.com
> Subject: Sauropod Tails (The End)
> Date: Friday, December 05, 1997 4:10 PM
> 
> After hearing many points of views on the issues of Sauropod tails being
used
> for defense, I felt it is time to set the record straight on the issues,
using
> brand-new evidence. I will also settle some issues that were brought up
about
> the use of horns, frills, and clubs in ceratopsians and ankylosaurs. I
shall
> not name any individuals, I will simply state my case.
> 
> 1. By studying sauropod bones with computers, we know that sauropods
could
> whip their tails with 2,000 times more force than a bullwhip. However,
the
> tail bones appear to be too delicate to be used for physical combat
without
> major damage to the tail itself.
> 
> 2. However, a flick of the sauropod tail with a small amount of force
could
> have produced a sound 'crack' of over an ear-splitting 200 decibels. How
many
> of you have actually had a bullwhip cracked near you? I'm not talking
about
> watching an Indiana Jones movie, or seeing one cracked during a circus
show.
> I'm talking about having one cracked only a foot away from your face, by
> someone who truely knows how to use one. I have, and let me tell you
> something; even if the whip doesn't hit you, the 'crack' alone is enough
to
> scare the wits out of you. And THAT was only about 100 decibels. Now,
imagine
> that whip being a WHOLE lot bigger, 2,000 times more powerful, and
creating a
> 'crack' of over 200 decibels. Believe me, even without physical contact,
that
> would be enough to scare, maybe even hurt, any hungry predator. 
> 
> 3. Concerning the topic of the dinosaur horns and frills that was brought
up
> by one of our subscribers, I would like to say this: Forget everything
you
> know. Forget all images of Triceratops gouging a Tyrannosaur while it
tries in
> vain to chomp on the neck that is protected by a heavily armored frill.
New
> evidence suggest that this portrayel is far from the truth. Recent
research
> has shown that the neck frill of a Triceratops was, in fact, loaded with
blood
> vessels. These vessels, being so close to the skin, would have made an
> excellent air conditioner to protect from overheating. As for the horns,
most
> people would assume that they were used as weapons. However, new studies
> question the dinosaur's ability to utilize them in this funcion. You may
be
> asking, if the horns weren't weapons, what other purpose could they have
> possibly have served. Think CAT WHISKERS. Careful observation shows that
the
> horns of many ceratopsians extend just as far as the frill does; that is,
they
> mark the frill boundries. Now, if you had a big frill around your head
filled
> with sensitive blood vessels that were quite close to the skin, you would
want
> to protect them. So the horns could have been used to protect not the
> dinosaur, but the delicate frill which was both an asset and a
vulnerability.
> 
> 4. The same goes with the anklosaurs. Reseach has shown that the tail
club
> which a number of anklosaurs possessed was filled with thick blood
vessels.
> Now, imagine yourself wearing a big, thick, heavy armor coat in the
middle of
> the summer. It would get QUITE hot. So the tail 'club' would have served
as an
> excellent air conditioner, especially if being lightly swung in the air.
Now,
> it you had a tail club filled big blood vessels, would you want to risk
> swinging it at enemies. I don't think so.
> 
> Now, I should say right now that I am only 16 years old, and am merely an
> amatuer paleontologist. However, don't confuse age with knowledge. I read
a
> great deal (it helps that I have no life). 
> Hopefully this will be the last posting on this topic. However, knowing
human
> nature (and how much the James Gurney issue was dragged out), I doubt it
will
> be. So I'm expecting a good deal of response. Please, take the time to
> actually READ this article. I not saying that this is the absolute fact,
I am
> simply stating new research on the topic.
> (P.S. Thanks to Nathan Myhrvold for his work in cyberpaleontology, not to
> mention that excellent article in Discover Magazine (November, 1997)
> 
>                          Gratiae, Atque Vale
>                          (Thanks, and Farewell)
> 
> Chris DeCarolis
> aka AEtheraptor
> http://members.aol.com/AETHERaptr/aisle.html
> 
> "Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid.
> People are stupid; given proper motivation,
> almost anyone will believe almost anything.
> Because people are stupid, they will believe
> a lie because they want to believe it's true,
> or because they are afraid it might be true.
> People's heads are full of knowledge, facts,
> and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they
> think it all true. People are stupid; they can
> only rarely tell the difference between a lie
> and the truth, and yet they are confident 
> they can, and so are all the easier to fool."
>                     -Terry Goodkind
>                      Wizard's First Rule