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Re: Spinosaurus/Lost World



Steve Tomporowski writes;

>Has anybody every given any consideration to the balancing mechanisms 
(inner
>ear, etc) that dinosaurs possessed?  Especially in relationship to bird,
>reptiles, etc?  Reason:  My wife picked up one of the 'Lost World' dinosaur 

>toys, specifically Spinosaurus.  I thought the reproduction was pretty nice 

>(note: the lower jaw even had teeth only on the forward half, and compared
>to sketches by G. Paul, it seems to be a juvenile), but the sucker is hard
>to stand up!  The tail did do some of the balancing act, but there must 
have
>been more than that.....

>Rob Meyerson wrote:

>A bipedal animal is like the motorcycle, where constant changes are 
required
>to keep one's balance.  Try placing a free-standing toy soldier (one 
without
>the
>little plastic base) on it's feet.  This is not easy, as the slightest 
motion
>knocks the figure over.  Yet, real people have no difficulty staying on 
their
>feet.  This is because our sense of balance knows if we are about to fall
>over, and will correct our position to keep us upright.

Pretty much my point, that dinosaurs, being bipedal must have developed a 
relatively sophisticated balance mechanism...maybe similar to humans.  Does 
a lizard have as complex a balance mechanism as a human?  What about 
something on long legs like a giraffe or a moose?  Just curious as to 
whether any research/speculation has been done in this area.  For example, 
crocs are a sister group to dinosaurs, do they have a complex balance 
mechanism?  Does it vary with environment, say a pliosaur, versus a 
cerotopsian?

>So, it can be expected that a toy theropod will not be able to stay on it's
>feet
>very easily; at least, not without cheating a little, and using the tail as 
a
>brace.

Incidentally, the toy spinosaurus has it's tail completely off the ground 
(falls down easily) ;)

Steve