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Re: T-rex could kick



On Wed, 1 Jan 1997, Rich Travsky wrote:

> On Wed, 1 Jan 1997 DINODUDE69@aol.com wrote:
>
> > T rex could kick, as do Ostriches, but COULD NOT slash with his clawed feet,
> > as they where blunt like ground birds, NOT talons...  But it would ONLY kick
> > as defense, probabally, not to attack prey in this fashion.
>
> You do not need talons to use a kick as an attack. A rex could generate
> a lot of power in its legs, making a kick destructive even if it didn't
> penetrate skin. A broken bone is just as debilitating as an open gash.
> (This is, after all, the means by which humans kick.) Being knocked over
> (and exposing vital body parts) is also an effective attack.

         Ostrich's blunt toed feet are supposed to be able to kill lions,
and the large second toe claw of the cassowary can disembowel. Kangaroos
and horses also have powerful kicks that can kill. It doesn't seem
unlikely that kicks may have been used. Certainly, in small theropods,
they may have been a very common means of dispatching or stunning small
prey. Killing kick strategies have evolved three times (noasaurs,
troodonts, dromaeosaurs) it seems. Presumably these specializations were
built on top of an existing behavior of kicking the prey and might
indicate that such behavior was widespread.
        However, there is no evidence in favor and much evidence against
T. rex using its kicks as the primary weapon- even a primary weapon-
against its prey.
        First of all, the legs, although large and powerful, were not
relatively robust for an animal this size, as in, say, a big Allosaurus,
Torvosaurus or other big sauropod-killer.
        Secondly, the head has all the firepower. It is powerfully
constructed, four to five foot long, with teeth a full foot from root to
crown. Those jaws could punch through solid bone, break vertebrae in half,
leave bite marks in Triceratops bone and even punch through the head of a
Triceratops femur.
        There's your primary weapon.