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Re: Diplodocid whip-tails



In a message dated 97-11-13 17:49:36 EST, dannj@alphalink.com.au writes:

<< I read an article in a newpaper recently about a computer
 scientist (Dr Nathan Myhrvoid) who suggested that diplodicid
 tails were actually used as giant bull whips to make loud
 cracking sounds. Does anyone else find this unlikely? >>
I must admit I'm a little skeptical about their tails being used as giant
noise-makers. However, as a means of defense they would appear quite
formidable. During a rare vacation in St. Thomas I was lucky enough to
observe this behavior in iguanas .  The smaller ones opted to flee but the
larger ones (3'-4') seemed content to stand their ground with tail cocked and
ready. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it sounded like (not a bull whip)
but the danger was clear. I imagine on a much larger scale it would be a
serious deterrent.
Fred