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Re: Cursorial adaptations (was T.rex and elephants)
Michael Teuton MD wrote:
> Check out Bakker's comments in Heresies about this subject and we can
> talk again.
Yeah, I read them. The example he uses is a chameleon, which should
have been his first clue IMO. Chameleons are slower than stock still,
and that tells me that the nice, free-moving shoulderblade doesn't in
any way imply adaptations for cursorial motion. Consider this
alternative use for those heavily built hind limbs (suggested to me in
private e-mail by another on the list): what if they were used as pivot
points, allowing the multi-ton animal to turn around quickly? This
would make those horns somewhat useful against predators, as the animal
could bring them to bear very quickly. The small forelimbs and hindward
center of gravity throw a lot of support to this idea. It definitely
makes more sense to me than the notion of developing a massively heavy
head assembly as you simultaneously develop adaptations for speed.
Of course, either adaptation nukes the idea of therapods *easily*
grabbing ceratopsians (my original assertion; okay, the idea has little
support, I admit it); they'd have to work from ambush, which would suit
our _T. rex_ perfectly IMO.