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Dentition and dotted lines



Paul Willis wrote:

<snip>
> more typically crocodilians had teeth designed for holding and puncturing.
> The jaws still come together like a pair of scissors in action but, instead
> of two blades, the jaws are like a pair of multiple hole punches. The
> action you describe rips tha prey apaer along the dotted line made by the
> teeth of the croc.

In fact the prey was dismembered along it's weakest point: for example,
spinning round with a leg in its mouth tore it off at the hip joint, and the
croc swallowed the leg (dangling _outside_ it's mouth) in a few awkward (but
efficient) gulps. There was no apparent "tear along the dotted line" action to
give a neat croc-mouth-shaped morsel. I'm sure T-tex and others, with their
dentition (to come back to dinos %^), would just trot/run alonside a fleeing
sauropod and simply tug lumps of muscle out as it ran, eventually crippling the
animal until it stopped and could be attacked en masse. In fact, on thinking
about it, it would be better to do this as a tactic than to stand the animal at
bay; a trotting sauropod is too busy to use it's tail as a whip-like defence,
and you can dart in and grab bits reasonably safely until it is too weak to go
on.

martin