[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Stegosaur plates as protection......

Sean Connell wrote:
> I see their (stegosaurus at least)plates as very effective defensive
> structures.Think about it.If your a large theropod attacking your prey
> what would be the most effective strike? The spinal column.If your going
> after a large dangerous herbivore with a really nasty anti-pred weapon
> you need to disable or kill the beastie as quickly as possible. The
> spine is the obvious choice for this.Relatively little damage and the
> prey is effectively "out of it".If stegos weren't blessed with these
> plates then contemporary preds would have it much easier when it came to
> attacking them.I have seen some postings here regarding how fragile the
> plates were but that isn't really the point as I see it.Claws aren't as
> effective at puncturing and slashing bones as strong jaws ( look at the
> extant felids and thier attacks). To really inflict trauma to a spinal
> column it's helpful to have strong jaws and teeth.Oh well, to get across
> quickly what I'm trying to get at here's a picture.---You're a
> theropod.You come against a prey animal with a tail weapon.Whether your
> an allosaur type "grapple-bite" or tyrannosaur type "pursuit and
> BITE",pred the least suicidal approach is to would to inflict trauma to
> the spine.You attack and do so relatively quickly, thus taking down an
> otherwise dangerous meal.--Scene (2)...You move to attack the spinal
> column but instead of a bare target that you can easily wrap your jaws
> around, you encounter these tall plates.These plates pose some
> problems.You can bite through the plates, THEN attack the back. BUT,
> this takes precious time.Instead of one fluid fast attack ,you now must
> get the plate/plates out of the way.While your doing all this you are
> very close to an animal that approaches your mass at least,and that has
> a weapon capable of at least injuring you.That's all it takes.Usually a
> predator with ANY injury that slows it down during a subsequent attack
> will perish.I'll trail off here because of exhaustion but I hope
> somebody understands what I'm saying.>G<......Speculation as usual,Sean
> C.
I just read Nick Longrich's posting and I agree completely.Most
structures in nature serve many functions and arguing over the "one"
purpose doesn't make much sense.                                        
Sean C.