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RE: Rough & tumble world (was Re: "Dinos of a Feather" )



>>Dr. Tom wrote:
>       >
>       >>Grappling with the jaws, sure; tearing and yanking with the
>powerful neck,
>       >sure; but rolling around with a 4 tonne _Edmontosaurus_ or 6 tonne
>       >_Triceratops_ or whatever is a good route for getting your rib
>       >>cage/skull/limbs crushed.
>       >
>
>       Rough and tumble, yes; lots of damage, yes.  But we were talking
>explicitly
>       about rolling over on its back during routine predation.  Rolling

What surprises this humanist/amateur (who began this thread) is that 
neither Dr. Tom, Patrick Norton nor Betty Cunningham even care to tip 
their hat to the picture of T Rex that John R. Horner put out in Dinosaur 
Lives (1997 Quotes below). Horner is certainly an authority. Was Horner 
merely being provocative, speaking to a popular audience? Horner 
describes advising Spielberg, then repudiates the film's Rex and indeed, 
the entire model of the agile, "rough and tumble," predatory T Rex. Here 
are quotes: 
**The center of gravity for this 12000 lb dinosaur was twelve feet off 
the ground, making it very unstable and an unlikely candidate for rapid, 
agile moves...T Rex's arms are so short they cannot be joined together, 
they cannot grasp themselves....Tiny eye sockets mean tiny eyes and tiny 
eyes imply poor vision.  T Rex can't grasp, can't run, can't see. Doesn't 
sound like much of a predator does it?.... If the huge animal moved too 
quickly it might stumble to the ground, crushing itself under its own 
weight... it would fall only once [for it couldn't right itself? As I 
heard argued elsewhere.] T Rex.... was an opportunistic scavenger, a 
connoisseur of carcasses, not an aggressive hunter like Velociraptor.**
This matters to me because I'm a year and a half into a novel (past third 
draft) which for once would not bend the animals to help the plot. It's 
tougher, but it would be worth it.  But I find such disagreement among 
the experts even about the fundamental nature of a comparatively 
well-known animal like T Rex, my wish to be "accurate" seems increasingly 
quixotic.    
With thanks for everyone's time,
George

George J. Leonard, Ph.D. 
Professor of Interdisciplinary Humanities
San Francisco State University
530 Humanities Hall
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, California, 94132
Ph: (415) 338-7428
FAX: (650) 366-5045
Website: http://www.georgeleonard.com