[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: a question of balance



    Here are a few observations off-list.  Of course, mine are completely
uncorroborated, too. . .
    The problem with T. rex (and most other theropods) is not their balance
front-to-back, but side-to-side.  Compared to their length, their bodies
were extremely thin..  A theropod falling on its side would be in a real
pickle, although I assume that, like a fish, they would be able to muscle
their way into a position to get the legs underneath them.  (Remember that
dino hip socket joints allow little-to-no lateral movement, only
front-to-back motion.)
    For a theropod with relatively large forelimbs, this isn't as much of a
problem because they can use them to balance their forward weight on while
pushing off or up with the hind legs.  For T. rex, though, the forelimbs
are so small in this regard as to be useless (in addition to the added
weight from its huge head).  So my admittedly amateur intuition is that a
T. rex would be very careful before attempting to tackle really large prey.
It would be an act of juvenile inexperience, desperation or irresistable
opportunity.
    T. rex's ferocious qualities were perfect adaptations for terrorizing
smaller predators away from their kills, and then waging intraspecific
battles (if necessary) to either defend or steal these same kills from
other T's.  In this regard, at least, T's were on equal ground in terms of
physical limitations, and there is evidence of T. rex's biting each other
(see The Tyrannosaur Formerly Known As Sue).
   I have no problem at all with Tyrannosaurus rex as a scavenger.   After
all, scavenging is just hunting without most of the danger involved.  It's
both efficient and smart.


T.A. Curtis
kodiak@inetworld.net / 619.669.1801
13980 Lyons Valley Road
Jamul, CA   91935-2024
USA
===============
Jan. 1, 2001 is the new millennium--not 2000!