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Re: Jobaria and the Elephant Commit Suicide

On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 Danvarner@aol.com wrote:
>   Once again another sauropod mount rears its head, lifting its forelimbs 
> into the air, ready to crush an Allosaurus or Afrovenator into a pulp. I know 
> elephants have something to do with this imagery--they can rear up to reach 
> food or perform tricks in the zoos or circus. But do they do this for 
> defense? I know they use their heads and tusks. Look what one did to Carl 
> Akeley. Is there any record of an elephant rearing up and stomping a lion or 
> tiger? Or a pride of lions or whatever they call a group of tigers? Ron? 

AN elephant merely provides a physical model for the behavior.

>   It seems to me that it would take about a day for a carnosaur to learn that 
> when a large sauropod BEGAN to rear up on its hind limbs that that would be a 
> signal to come and get it. "Here's my exposed belly and hind limbs!"No big 
> deal for those swift killers to avoid that kind of confrontation. I'm sorry, 
> but I don't think this scenario has been thought out very well. There is no 
> mention at the www.jobaria.org website about elephants using this kind of 
> behaviour for defense. Have I missed something?

A sauropod would not have to rear up fully for this to be effective.
Consider the relative sizes of the sauropod and the carnosaur. A pushoff
gains height for the sauropod, and this makes for quite a landing. If the
carnosaur had actually tried its entry at this point, the sauropod body
would've come down right on it.

Behaviorally, a  better model, I think, would be a horse. Horses rear, and
can actually go bipedal for a few moments and their rearing behavior is
used for defense.

Don't forget, rearing up gives the impression of being larger. Many
animals do the equivalent - like raising fur or having a mane.

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