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Re: Sidestepping dinosaurs; Triceratops maneuverability (was: Triceratops defense)
> Were dinosaur legs configured to sidestep?
> Didn't their legs just go back and forth?
My amateur sense says that sidestepping for a T. rex might have been a little
more difficult than cornering for a ceratopsian. Tyrannosaurs seem to be more
cursors than dancers.
> In fact, would not Triceratops have been more
> maneuverable than T. rex? (Not faster.) Dr. Holtz,
> are you reading this?
I hope you won't be concerned with someone throwing in their two cents here:)
>From everything I've seen the leading consensus is that Triceratops had its
front legs splayed outwards with its back legs in the normal straight under the
body orientation. This means that Triceratops was no charger. It could never
have run fast enough to make charging useful. What this does do for it is to
make wheeling from a stationary stance quick and make short quick thrusts with
its horns very powerful. I think it would have limited charges to a few steps
letting predators come to it and then thrusting forward at them. If the
predators tried to circle them, so what, with the squat body and leg positions,
it could wheel faster than most predators could circle them.
As an extension to this, I would conjecture that this defense plan would be most
useful for a less than gregarious animal, at most for small family groups.
Do the pros here think this makes sense or have I misjudged something here?