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




        -----Original Message-----
        From:   George Leonard [SMTP:gl91bciiLt@earthlink.net]
        Sent:   Wednesday, March 03, 1999 1:34 AM
        To:     Dwight.Stewart@VLSI.com; 'th81@umail.umd.edu';
Patrick.Norton@usc.edu
        Cc:     Dinosaur list
        Subject:        RE: Rough & tumble world (was Re: "Dinos of a
Feather" ) 


        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 

        @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

           I've read Dr. Horner's description & I certainly don't claim to
speak for any of
        the above mentioned experts or for James Farlow or Ralph Chapman;
but I feel
        compelled to point out that I (for at least one) consider these
folks to be more
        knowledgeable about Tyrannosaurs than Dr. Horner.  From the reading
I have done
        on the subject, I would be more inclined to ask any of these folks
plus Phil Currie
        about Tyrannosaurs & reserve most of my Hadrosaur questions for Dr.
Horner.
        Don't get me wrong, I have great respect for Dr. Horner, I simply
disagree with
        his assessment of  Tyrannosaurus rex's capabilities.  
           I can hardly wait to hear from Dr. Holtz on this subject or any
of our other
        theropod experts.  :-)

        JMHO
        Dwight