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Yes, that was pretty much my take on it. I knew a biophysicist in
college years ago who was working on what were then called "Pram Indexes".
I recall several discussions with this (then) young man regarding this
subject AND I participated in a multi university experiment as a subject.
This involved running on a tread mill, while our pulse,
O2 uptake rates, blood pressure, etc. were measured. A blood & urine test
was performed before & after these tests.
Also, they did a muscle cross section from the thigh. The same experiment
was performed on a wide variety of species. The goal (as I understood it)
was to ascertain which measurements were the most reliable predictors of:
1) top speed (ballistic speed)
3) longest sustain speed
and a few other related indices. I do recall the outcome; at least the
Prime indicators were: longer lower leg bone length compared to thigh bone
length to predict longest sustained speed, propensity of white fiber muscle
(fast twitch) over red fiber muscle (slow twitch) to predict fastest
ballistic speed, propensity of red fibers over white muscle fibers to
predict endurance & longest sustained speed.
O2 uptake was important in all, but less important in ballistic speed. A
very short lower leg bone with respect to the thigh bone was essentially a
predictor of low speed - both ballistic & sustained.
They did look at agility, but within limited motion, by measuring while the
subject changed or attempted to change
Direction. And, yes, these tests were performed on some reptiles & some
birds. The mammal sampling was
(as I recall) much more robust.
From: TRUETT GARNER [SMTP:DINOBOY@worldnet.att.net]
Sent: Saturday, September 05, 1998 2:19 AM
To: Dwight.Stewart@VLSI.com; 'firstname.lastname@example.org';
Subject: Re: Raptors
> From: Stewart, Dwight <Dwight.Stewart@VLSI.com>
> To: 'email@example.com'; James.Close@LibertyMutual.com
> Cc: Dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Raptors
> Date: Friday, September 04, 1998 6:37 PM
> On the same "raptorish" thread :-): was Utahraptor known at the
> JP1 was made? And, speaking of Dromaeosaurs, does anyone have a
> mechanical model of how fast they could run. 50-60 MPHs sounds
> for an animal with legs like theirs. I would guess that's more in
If I'm not badly mistaken , Utahraptor was discovered during the
JP . Jim Kirkland can probably clarify this .As for Dromaeosaurid
I've recently read (can't find the ref. at the moment ) that their
anatomy most resembles animals which
were agile , but not necessarily speedy .
Regards , Truett Garner