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Re: Cursorial adaptations (was T.rex and elephants)

Ralph Miller III wrote:
> _T.rex_ and elephants?  What the?!

'Twasn't my idea, I just joined an ongoing thread! <g>

Good discussion, though.  Thanks.  I have that SciAm collection; I'll
have to look up that article when I have some free time next month. <g>
> As you can see, an elephant has NONE of these adaptations.  Did anyone (who
> has not seen _George of the Jungle_) have any doubts about this?  Elephants
> are graviportal.  End of story.

        Step your feet, slap your tail
        Seven on the Richter Scale
        Ev'rybody lumber to
        The Graviportal Polka!
                ("The Graviportal Polka," DR. JANE'S FOSSIL FEVER) (sorry, 

> And as for our cherished _Tyrannosaurus rex_.  What of him?  In my view,
> _Tyrannosaurus_ clearly does not share all of the cursorial adaptations of
> modern mammals.  But that's OK.  Tyrannosaurs had more of the
> aforementioned cursorial adaptations than any other animal in its size
> class and , hence, would have been fast enough.  Maybe not as fast as
> Bakker describes them, but they were definitely in the race.  They were not
> so adapted for cursorial pursuit as modern cheetahs, but so what?  Their
> prey, which may have included such genera as _Edmontosaurus_ and
> _Triceratops_, were NOT gazelles!  And if _T.rex_ was an active hunter, it
> may have been able to mortally wound most animals with a single shoveling
> bite, so marathon runs need not have been a part of its repertoire.

I envision T-rex as more of an ambush hunter, especially in the mixed
growth that was its most likely habitat (according to THE COMPLETE T.
REX).  Can't be big and a chase hunter in heavy growth.  Doesn't work. 
Big generally seems to equate with an ambush hunter.

-- JSW