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Re: Rex Towing Capacity (Aaargh!)



Nick ngear@gvtc.com wrote:
> Then I applied this argument
> to the thread debating whether the tooth marks in the ceratops frill were
> made pre or post mortem -SNIP-
> With a ceratops on its
> side (the most likely tow position, I would think) and the rex biting the
> frill two feet off the ground -SNIP-
> Also, if you were going to tow a ceratops, the top
> of the frill would probably have been the place to clamp on. -SNIP-

This thread began as an attempt to explain why a _Triceratops_ skull shows
evidence of having been bitten on the *face* from the *front* by a
tyrannosaurid.  My attempt to find the original post has been unsuccessful,
so I do not know whether this skull has tooth marks or embedded teeth in
it.  Anyone?    

> I think I missed a couple of episodes of this thread,
> though.  Did anyone think to suggest this rex could have been trying to
drag
> this body back to a den/nest/whatever to feed little rexlings?

It still seems like too much work for very little gain.  There is no
evidence that tyrannosaurids had a den as such, and it would seem so much
easier for the young to travel to the site, for the parents to regurgitate
food for the chicks, or (as Ellen Sue Blakely suggested on 2/20/98) for
adults to bring only a portion of the carcass back to the family.

> PS  Something I was wondering about.  How precisely do rex teeth mate   
up? -SNIP-
> If the teeth don't mate well enough for a clean cut, would
> shaking the head have been sufficient to tear the meat out?  If not, I
was
> thinking the rex might have been able to use it's prodigious towing
ability
> to pull hunks of meat loose, since it apparently had several tons
capacity
> to play with.

As I understand it, the robust, spike-like teeth of the upper jaw
overlapped the teeth of the mandible, giving it an overbite all around. 
The teeth were continuously being pushed up and replaced by successive
teeth, giving the tooth line the characteristic jagged look.  They did not
mesh together as our teeth do, and they were not blade-like as the teeth of
some of the smaller theropods.  So it would not make a clean cut, but I
presume persevered by virtue of its robust teeth and powerfully muscled
neck and jaws.  (Please correct me if I'm wrong about any of this).

Ralph Miller III <gbabcock@best.com>