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Just a suggestion, but *if* the tails were used as a defense mechanism for
clobbering therapods, would the damage inflicted on them just knock them
off their feet or inflict some serious damage? IMO, it would be in the best
interest of the sauropod to disable their attacker by seriously knocking it
down (or using the cracking sound as a deterrent). If so, wouldn't there be
some sort of paleopathological record? Do we see this anywhere? But I
imagine it would be difficult to differentiate between broken ribs due to a
normal fall versus those cracked by the impact of a sauropod tail.
"She was determined to be as
toughminded as possible without
abandoning the sense of wonder
that was driving her in the first place."
-C. Sagan, Contact