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Re: A Tale of Two Tails



On Fri, 9 May 1997, Richard L. Dieterle wrote:
> [...]
>Whacking large carnivores, broom-like, with the tail as a whole unit is 
>another 
>possibility that has been raised.  The tendon-like stiffening rod running down 
>the tail might have had enough lateral flexibility to give some slight 
>whipping 
>motion to the tail.   However, the problem is that collisions are in some 
>sense 
>symmetrical: is a Hadrosaur tail really tougher than a Tyrannosaur leg?  Whose 
>bones are going to crack first?  Where does the strongest muscle-padding lie, 
>in
>the Tyrannosaur leg, or the Hadrosaur tail?  Also, how many shots does a 
>Hadrosaur get?  If a backside mobbing were conjectured, the complexity of 
>coordinating such a blind-side defense would make it prima facie unlikely.  

Defense should not be thought of strictly in terms of breaking a limb (TRex
leg in this case). A simple knock down may be all that's needed, the 
hadrosaur then utilizing this opportunity to run while the rex tries to
pick itself up. Anything that slows down the predator can be translated
into escape and survival.

I recall, from a nature show, an instance where a zebra, chased by a
lion, broke the lion's lower jaw while kicking with its hind legs. This
lucky shot slowed this lion down for sure! (I can't recall what happened
to the zebra, tho, probably killed by other lions.)

+----------+    Rich Travsky   RTRAVSKY @ UWYO . EDU
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