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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.