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Re: Sauropod Tails (The End)

<<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.

Having some really unusual friends, I both own and can operate quite
professionally a 10 ft bull whip, I have (but I'm way out of practice) sliced
aluminum cans in half, cracked the whip in repeated strokes for as long as a
minute, and can hit a still target.    To use a whip, you throw the length of
the whip away from you and catch it back just before it reaches full extension,
really really fast.

However....this is really really tiring work, and I'm wondering just how often
these behemoths would actually be able to do such a thing without becoming
exhausted.  My bullwhip is about 2 feet longer than would be ideal for my
hieght and arm length (I'm saving up for a 6 foot $400 stunt whip), a
sauropod's tail being that much longer and heavier would need an ASTOUNDING
amount of muscle to support it.   It would be like flinging a SUPER heavy duty
firehose anywhere-at high speeds.

Also a major problem to consider would be tangling up in something around them
(bull whips need a VERY clear circumference around them to operate.)  If you
remember the Indiana Jones or Zorro  movies, they did those whip moves in rooms
with VERY high ceilings or outside in clear spaces, both with lots of room
around them.  Knocking into something before it reaches full extention means
the whip doesn't make any sonic boom at all.

Another bad idea is to do any whip work in a crowd.  We are talking supposed
herd animals here, aren't we?  ALL going *snap* snap* snap*????   Just the big
ones?  Do the little ones know to stay out of the way of something moving so
fast you can't see it? Somehow I don't think so.

It is fortunate that these animals do have the ability to turn and look where
they are aiming as doing whip work blind is a bad idea.  I've taken the whip
with me to work and had amateurs messing around with it almost castrate
themselves.  With both eyes open and watching where they were aiming..

I can also see having the tail coming in contact with something hard enough and
fast enough to slice it off completely.
My mother breeds and shows Scottish Deerhounds, a large and particularily
stupid sighthound breed.  She has a dog that as a puppy lost the last 6 inches
of it's tail simply by wagging it into something sharp.  NOTE - wagging- does
not have the speed of a bull whip cracking and this tail came off severed
completely.  The item it hit was a metal door.  I can see a nice granite rock
face having lovely edges sharp enough to acomplish the same thing.

So I'm still not convinced by ths whole idea.

-Betty Cunningham