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Re: Diplodocid duck-and-cover techniques (?)

On Fri, 28 Jul 2000 21:39:01 -0700  Ralph  writes:
> How do monitor lizards or other non-avian reptiles use their tails 
> as weapons?

Personal experience:

Iguanas use their tails to whack their owners upside the head, giving
said owners rather nasty headaches.  This is ddone with the animal
looking mostly out of one side of its head, backing away from the
percieved threat, while holding its body in a "U" shape; the tail is
recurved by muscle action just prior to striking.

> How effective are they?  

See above.

>Do they wound or deter predators in this  manner?

It certainly has the potential.

> If their sinuous bodies were immobilized from their pectoral girdles to
> pelves could they see what they were doing with their tails?  

Diplodocids or extant reptiles?  Living reptiles that use their tails as
defensive weapons have a fair amount of neck mobility, as well as a wide
field of vision.  Personally, I'll leave further research up to you,
analgesics are getting expensive.

Whether diplodocids had these same features I'll leave to the sauropod


MD coordinator,
National Iguana Awareness Day
I crashed my hard drive when I swerved to avoid a corrupted file.

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