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Tripping the light fantastic (was _T. rex_ strikes)



Ed Seidl writes;

(Quoting Stephen Throop)
>>I'm sure _T rex_ would sometimes hit the ground with significant
>>horizontal speed, as Farlow apparently analyzed.  I think _T rex's_ tiny
>>arms were an adaption for that.  I think they could easily be tucked in
>>to prevent the kind of neck-breaking somersaults that happen to horses
>>in cowboy movies.

>How does tucking in your arms prevent doing a somersault or breaking your
>neck??
>Horses in cowboy movies take falls because the stunts are coordinated but
>they don't break their necks.  PETA would bever allow it.

I agree that pulling in the arms would probably make things more difficult
for a falling Rex; it would end up taking the fall on the chin.  I suggest
the opposite: in a fall, Rex would extend the arms to act as a combination
shock absorber and springboard, bringing the animal back into an upright
position.  The question remains on whether Rex's arms would be able to
withstand the stresses generated by such an action.

Rob Meyerson
Orphan Vertebrate Paleontologist
***
"You're going to need a bigger boat."