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Re: Dentition and dotted lines



On Wed, 8 Jan 1997 martin@hpentccl.grenoble.hp.com wrote:

> 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.

        Allosaurs had relatively small-toothed, narrow, and not especially
robust jaws; Bakker feels that the entire upper edge of the jaw was used
to slash at their prey saber-tooth style and cites a joint that allows the
jaw to open to huge angles and muscles that allow it to do this. 
        T. rex has huge teeth that are not, beyond being serrated, like
steak knives any more than an axe is like a steak knife. At any rate, that
is my impression- they are very, very thick. The skull is also extremely
powerful, much heavier than in Allosaurus or Carcharodontosaurus. They
probably weren't using the same tactics to bring down their prey. Also,
Allosaurus and the big sauropod-hunters generally had much more robust
builds in the *rest* of the skeleton than T. rex, though, which is pretty
gracile for its size, as Mr. Holtz has noted. 

        Nick L.