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Re: Running T. rex
> I had thought that juvenile tyrannosaurid legs were nearly identical to
> ornithomimid legs, but that they became bulkier and the femur:tibia ratio
> increased with age. Is this true? Perhaps, as Currie has suggested,
> smaller tyrannosaurids were runners, but their lifestyles changed as they
> grew larger and heavier. Surely the hatchlings could have run and jumped,
I would think that T. rex, if it could, would have no need to run or jump
when adult, which is obvious, and T. rex probably couldn't. But I guess
that the lifestyles of the young and tyrannical depend on the parental and
social habits of the species. If there is a time in their lives when they
are on their own, then they probably did have to jump and run. But if they
were always cared for by the adults until a large size, or if they were in a
pack until a large size, they may have less reason to run and jump, instead
scavenging what the adults kill. But if I'm correct, Mr. Currie's
hypothesis about pack hunting in T. rex has the small ones doing the running
and killing for the large ones. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Another variable is the amount of play this species would engage in, if any,
which is a derivative of the intelligence of T. rex. Wasn't T. rex's
braincase rather large compared to other dinosaurs, excluding maniraptors,
troodonts, and relatives of Leallynasaura amicagraphica? And am I correct
to guess that brain size does affect speed possibilities in play?
What are the speed estimates, if any, for Edmontosaurus regalis and
Triceratops horridus (which depends on the sprawling or upright ceratopsian
foreleg stance issue)? There is a fossil from both species showing healed
over T. rex bite wounds (and no, I don't mean the famous T. horridus sacrum
that the WWD scene was based off of). This is undeniable evidence of at
least two instances of hunting in the history of T. rex, which implies
hunting on a more regular basis (which doesn't exclude scavenging!-I agree
with the common view that T. rex was an opportunist). Thus the animal had
to catch its prey, and if there is a speed estimate for the prey, that could
help with determining the speed for the predator.
And I don't think that there's a problem with T. rex not achieving high
speeds at all. It is a point of interest for me to understand the mechanics
of this animal and other dinosaurs, and speed plays a part. The same thing
is happening with cheetahs. How fast can they really go? No scientific
sources have proven the extreme speed of 70 miles per hour, but it would not
only be helpful to understand the animal, but also amazing that it can
acheive these speeds. It just so happens that we are dealing with a very
famous dinosaur, and the issue of speed, for many years, was contested
widely. And still is.
An interesting observation: Upon rewatching "Jurassic Park" (a great
movie), I noticed that the T. rex did not achieve a noticable aerial phase.
So the size of the animal in the movie allowed it to reach the 32 miles per
hour mentioned without running. But that's a movie, not sceince...
Peace out, Demetrios Vital