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Re: A Tale of 2 Tails, Definitive Reply



                     Definitive Answers Edition

I wanted to respond to a particular posting, but all I have left is fragmenta. 

ÒI suggested the possibility of [Hadrosaurs] using the tail as a defense.Ó

My apologies to Dr. Teuton, his original post apparently fell into the trash 
while I was chewing on the carpet.  

I like to announce that I have successfully sent a time machine back to the 
Cretaceous, so maybe we will get some real answers now.  I didnÕt go myself, and
let me make it clear that it was not from any fear for my personal safety, but 
out of an acute sense of the damage that would be done to the quality of the 
DinoList if anything were to happen to me.  In my stead I have sent my 
manservant, Barry X. Spendible.  He was able to interview a badly beaten 
Tyrannosaur, who red with shame, his lips quivering, and tears welling up in his
eyes [have I pressed enough buttons?], admitted that he had gotten an Òass 
whippingÓ from a Hadrosaur, and this was no figure of speech, either.  So it 
does happen from time to time, but given the amount of embarrassment, it must be
pretty rare.  

He was also able to interview an Ankylosaur, and wasted no time in getting to 
the key question: ÒWhy are you such a bad ass?Ó  His answer was, ÒSimple.  ItÕs 
natural selection: if you slap Tyrannosaurs in the gut long enough, before you 
know it, youÕve got something like this big lump on the end of your tail.Ó  When
I heard this report, I thought to myself, You know, this is precisely my own 
point: Hadrosaurs have a gracile tail because they were not in the habit of 
slapping around Tyrannosaurs.  

I also got an answer of sorts for this: 

ÒIÕm just imagining animal behavior.  I have no claim to omnipotence.  Am I out 
in left field here, or is some of this valid?Ò

I know how you feel: IÕm not quite omnipotent either, but thanks to my 
aforementioned manservant, I am now nearly omniscient.  Up in Edmonton the 
Hadrosaurs have a team thatÕs looking for a left fielder.  However, when he told
them that the biped he had in mind for them had five fingers on each hand, they 
blanched visibly.  They said that if they wanted a mutant for this position they
would just as soon wait for someone with a nice even number of digits, like 
eight on each hand.  By the way, their original left fielder disappeared when he
inexplicably slapped a T. rex with his tail.   

Richard Dieterle

"It is good that our science is so terrible, or we would soon grow too fond of 
it." -- 1863, at the Battle of Haddy's Tavern